Ghana League History Top five league deciders of all-time

Wa All Stars will win the Ghana Premier League if they manage a win against their closest competitor Aduana Stars on Wednesday.

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play Hearts vs Kotoko in 2005
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Pulse Sports historian Thomas Freeman Yeboah takes you back to enumerate the top five league deciders of all-time, as Wa All Stars clash with Aduana Stars on Wednesday in the game that could decide the Ghana Premier League title for the 2015-16 season.

2004 Season

The 2004 novelty league was the first zonal league in Ghana. Kotoko won the Northern sector, while Hearts of Oak emerged winners of the Southern sector. Championship play-off was organised in April 2005 at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium between Kotoko and Hearts of Oak to decide the champions.

To avoid any controversy, Togolese Djoukou was appointed to officiate the game

The Phobians piped the Porcupine Warriors by a goal to nil, and the one whose goal gave the Accra giants the bragging right over their rivals was Prince Tagoe.

2009/10 Season

The 2009-10 will go down in history as the first, and the only league title decided through the application of the head to head rule. A Ghana Premier League debutant also won it for the very first time.

The league contest leading to the final day of the season had become a two-horse race between AshGold and Aduana Stars, the debutants. The Miners needed just a draw at Berekum against Chelsea to emerge champions. The David Duncan’s charges were however beaten 1-0 through a late minute goal from Eric Opoku, who would in 2014-15 help AshGold to win their first league title in 19 years, while Aduana Stars defeated Berekum Arsenal to put them at par with AshGold with 53 points.

The head to head rule was applied, and Aduana clinched a historic league title as the first debutants to win the Ghana League, since its inception in the 1950’s by virtue of their goalless draw at Obuasi in the first half of the season and a 1-0 home win at Dormaa in the second round.

1984-1985 Season

The league title went down to the wire. Entering into the last round of matches, Hearts of Oak were leading the pack with 35 points, while Kotoko were trailing them by two point on the league table. The showdown was between the two giants of Ghana football, Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak. Stakes were too high to the extent that the referee was decided some few minutes to kick off. The Porcupine Warriors needed any form of a win to emerge as league champions by a superior goal difference. However, Hearts of Oak silenced Kumasi with a 0-1 victory over their arch-rivals to defend the league title. During the game, a mistake by a Kotoko defender Baba Ali, whose overhead kick fell the way of onrushing Joe Amoateng of Hearts of Oak was coolly finished, with just a minute into the second half.

1989-1990 Season

This season saw the introduction of a penalty shootout to break the ties in drawn games, and that gave the winners of the penalty shootout additional point to make it two and the losers picked a point. Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko were in contention for the league title, and it was a close race, with a point separating the two sides, before their titanic clash on match day 28. Hearts became favourites after they edged Asante Kotoko 1-2 in Kumasi in the last but two fixtures. Shamo Quaye shot Hearts of Oak into the lead, but Kotoko cancelled it out through Baba Musah, before Tony Tieku broke the hearts of the home fans with the winner.

1961-1962 Season

A final day outstanding league game between Hearts of Oak and Republicans handed the Phobians the league title. Republicans were participating in that season’s league on a non-scoring basis, meaning it didn’t count it they won a match, but the opposing sides gained point/points for a draw or a win against Republicans.

 Real Republicans decided the winner of the league on the final day, due to hatred for Kotoko. Hearts of Oak defeated them 5-4, and most soccer historians believe the game was fixed.

Real Republicans and Kotoko became the bitterest of enemies when the Porcupine Warriors threatened to boycott the league over the transfer of their two key players Dogo Moro (defender) and Baba Yara (winger). Two key players each from the top clubs at the time were transferred to Real Republicans (Osagyefo’s club) by Ohene Djan, who was appointed as the Director of Sports by Nkrumah at a time he was the FA chairman. The players formed Real Republicans

Kotoko were on top of the league log with 43 points, while Hearts of Oak were second with 42 points, but in the end dislodged the Kumasi giants to win the league title when they managed a 5-4 win over a star-studded Republicans.

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