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GPL countdown: Hearts, Kotoko, Aduana and Chelsea play musical chairs with the title

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With nine days to go until the start of the new Ghana Premier League season, clubs are stepping up their preparations as they eye league glory.

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No league champion has been crowned in the last three years in the Ghana Premier League with the local game having to deal with the fallout from a massive corruption exposé and the coronavirus pandemic.

This is in stark contrast to the nine seasons from 2003 to 2012, when the title changed hands nine consecutive times.

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Asante Kotoko beat then defending champions, Hearts of Oak, to the title in 2003, winning the trophy by nine points.

During the 1st Capital Plus Premier League Finals Coronation ©Christian Thompson/BackpagePix

The next season, Hearts of Oak pegged them back, recapturing the title after the two teams topped the groups in their respective zones. In the one-off final match, a 76th-minute Prince Tagoe goal handed Hearts of Oak a 1-0 win and the title.

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Kotoko were out for revenge in the 05/06 season, ending the campaign with a seven-point lead over their fierce rivals. Not to be outdone, however, Hearts of Oak were back on top a season later, finishing five points clear of Ashgold and a further two ahead of Kotoko.

Aduana celebrating their title

Having failed to make it into the top four, Kumasi Asante Kotoko set things “right” in the 07/08 campaign storming to the title with a 16-point lead over runners-up Hearts of Lions. Hearts of Oak finished in 8th place, 29 points behind the Porcupine Warriors.

Just like Kotoko the season before, Hearts wanted to make amends for a disappointing rank, and they did, fending off both Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Lions to reclaim the title. It was a close one though as Hearts beat Kotoko by just three points.

Newly-promoted Aduana shocked everyone when they won the league title, somehow, after scoring only 19 goals in 30 games, becoming the first promoted side in the Ghana Premier League to end the season as league champions.

Their reign lasted only one year, however, as Berekum Chelsea, who finished mid-table the previous season, romped to the title by 10 points over Ashanti Gold.

It was Kotoko’s season a year later though as they won the title by 14 points. Ashgold finished as runners-up, with Hearts of Oak in third. The Kumasi club retained the title the following year, putting an end to the Ghana Premier League’s decade-long game of musical chairs.

 

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Source:
citisportsonline.com

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