Another installment of the biggest football match in Ghana has gone by with a whimper, unexciting and devoid of controversy, just what I have come to expect of Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak matches in the past decade.
The crowd that thronged the Baba Yara Sports stadium in high spirits with expectations of legendary performances and breathe taking play must have wondered what happened to their two clubs. Historically the two most successful teams in Ghana now compete in an encounter that has lost its luster even though faithful still cling on to fading memories.
Great names have fought this football battle that has divided generations of Porcupine and Phobians fans, yet the modern installment can only be called B-rated version of past greats.
Every great football rivalry thrives on personal battles and previous clashes between Kotoko and Hearts of Oak has more than its share. Memories of Eric Bekoe battling Dan Coleman or Ishmael Addo bamboozling Joseph Hendricks and the many other gladiators who have fought this battle make last
Sunday’s encounter and its protagonists seem like a poor man’s selection for a football match.
At past his prime Laryea Kingston provided early sparks and then fizzled out as old age and a lack of stamina took its toll. New Accra Hearts of Coach, David Duncan said “he is the best playmaker in the country and as such ready for a return to the Black Stars should he be taken for the humor it evokes.’’
Hearts look like a team that is struggling to identify the sum of its parts and maybe they can be forgiven, another of their best players, Mahatma Otoo looked lost the entire duration of the game and was reduced to pots shots from afar. Kotoko have sold most of the players who brought them glory last season and are paying the price for the fortune seeking habits of their boss K.K Sarpong.
My immeasurable disappointment at the general low quality of play is one that was shared by the thousands at the stadium and the millions who watched on TV and listened on radio.
Some of the play was just downright amateurish and suffice to say represents the general level of play in the GLO premier league. I counted five shots on target from both teams and found myself wondering how I made it through the second half awake.
On the eve when their continental rivals Al Ahly won their seventh African title despite not participating in a domestic league and TP Mazemebe making their annual trip to the semi final of the same question, the Ghanaian super clubs need to get things on the football field right and quickly.
The Super Clash might need a new name if Sunday’s performance is repeated.
By: Godfred Akoto Boafo