ArchiveBlogBlog 15PublishedPublished 15

Snacks, Soccer, and Halftime Analysis

July 26th, 2015 — Here is a match report that I wrote on a my third game I saw at the Accra Sports Stadium.  I found the match officiating to be quite weak — there were just way too many free kicks called for what I thought to be fair challenges, and I felt that the two teams were just benefiting from referee calls instead of creating their own chances through smart tactical plays.  Several of the other journalists believed the second penalty for Great Olympic was awarded off a dive, but I couldn’t quite catch it from where I was standing. However, it was great to see the match not end in chaos this time, and instead, the outside of the stadium was filled with waving flags, the banging of drums, and the singing of home Great Olympic fans.  This time, I also got to write up a half-time match analysis for the commentator, the great Eric Asante, on how the first half panned out. I was pleased to see that he seemed to like it, and he mentioned all the comments I wrote down on air.  He had initially asked if I wanted to present the analysis myself on air, but I got a deeper satisfaction hearing his uplifting ecstatic voice explaining my ideas.

Also, the sound engineer of the press conference delivered some soda and a local snack, which reminded me of “curry puffs” which I used to eat growing up, to all of us who were at the press box of the match.  I deeply regret not asking what it was because it was absolutely delicious!  However, this act of kindness on the part of the sound engineer did come at a cost — all the journalists ended up being late to the press conference. This time it was the coaches and players who ended up waiting for us to file in. Also, the sound engineer was unable to hook the microphone up to the speakers.  I found it quite entertaining that all this improperness happened over some good snacks and refreshing drinks.

Substitute Kwame Boateng takes reins in Great Olympic 2-1 victory against Medeama

Great Olympic took a win home in a 2-1 victory against Medeama at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday.  Accra’s Great Olympic entered the match eager to secure three points as part of its campaign to steer clear away from the bottom of the premier league table; meanwhile, Medeama has ambitions to ease its way into the top four.

At the ten minute mark of the match, a tussle for the ball in the penalty box, resulted in Great Olympic striker, Daniel Appiah, collapsing, and being brought to an ambulance on a stretcher.  For the home fans, it only took another minute for tragedy to turn into felicity, as Appiah’s replacement — 22-year old Kwame Boateng — booted in the first goal from close range to place the club in front.  Following his opening goal,  the striker went on to play a key role, as Olympic’s forwards held possession deep into enemy lines, and took advantage of free kicks called by the referee, Emmanuel Eku Boateng. for late tackles.  Medeama was resilient though.  In the 20th minute, it seemed like Kwame Boateng, was about to add in a second goal, as he broke past the right back, and faced Medeama goalkeeper, Muntari Tagoe, one-on-one.  But the goalie, met the man at the left corner of the goal posts, and with a vertical leap, pushed a solid strike from close-quarters over the net.  By the time the first half winded down, it was Medeama who seemed to be tipping the scales in offensive possession; however, goalkeepers on either side of the pitch continued not to face much challenge, as few attempted shots were on target.

Nine minutes into the second half, Medeama got their equalizer.  Attempting to clear a loose ball from the penalty box, Olympic defender, Isaac Nyarko, had his right hand get in the way of his kick, and the match officials awarded Medeama a penalty.  Premier League top scorer, Nathaniel Asamoah, was the man to place the ball on the penalty spot; his strike to Tagoe’s left was tipped from the goalie’s fingertips into the top back of the net, which saw Asamoah add a 16th goal to his coffers.

The match went on to hold a much more balanced contest for a hold on the ball.  Although, showing vigorous display in the first half, Kwame Boateng’s flair started to dwindle, as a counter attack ignited by Isaac Nyamko’s swipe of the ball, was shot long up to Boateng, who failed to make a strong contact on the ball, as he was knocked down under pressure from the defense; the ensuing cross was knocked away to arrive at the striker’s feet open in the penalty box, but he slipped on his footwork, and lost possession.

Finally, the Great Olympic got their answer in the 64th minute when a penalty was called over a mistimed tackle by Evans Quaye, giving, Kwame Boateng, a chance to step up to end the equalizer.  The call drew jeers from many of the away fans, as the referee had initially blown his whistle signaling for an indirect free kick, before changing his decision and indicating for a penalty.   The youngster gave a little feint, before skimming the ball to the right; with the keeper shifting to the opposite direction, and scored his second goal.

Although Madeama fought hard to set the game level with breathtaking positioning on the offense, leading to two shots on target, but which did little to fool Olympic keeper, Richard Kingson, the referee blew the final whistle.

With a win, the Great Olympic now have 29 points, and are tied at the bottom three of the table with Hearts of Oak.  Medeama is now tied at the top 10 alongside Edubiase F.C.

Head coach of Great Olympic, Yaw Acheampong, spoke at the press conference following the game, and mentioned that the win was the result of their pre-match tactics being carried out “according to plan,” He stated that for the next five games, the club are going to “take one match at a time,” and prepare accordingly.

Assistant coach of the Medeama side, Evans Adotey, was critical of the officiating, “Having played so well, especially dominating the second half, the referee took the match into his own hands, and ensured our defeat.” Speaking on the his plans moving forward, he said, “Losing to the Olympic has prompted us to get well prepared because another defeat will bring us down into the relegation zone, so we are going back, and will ensure that we map a strategy that will help us stay out of defeat.”

Next Sunday at 3:00pm, Great Olympic is set to play Hasacaas as the away side, while Medeama is also scheduled to play as the visitors against Berekum Chelsea.

Starting Line-ups:

GREAT OLYMPIC

50 — Richard Kingson

20 — Godwin Attram

19 — Joshua Onikin

24 — Daniel Quaye

5   — Ofoe Ofootsu

14 — Godfred Asante

39 — Isaac Nyarko

11 — Francis Mantey

18 — Daniel Appiah

9   — Agbetsie Ootse

21 — Adom Ampofu

35 — Kwame Boateng

MEDEAMA

21 — Muntari Tagoe

4  — Daniel Ansah

7  — Malik Akowah

11 — Nathaniel Asamoah

22 — Jacob Appau

30 — Francis Addo

32 — Eric Kwakwa

36 — Moses Appiah

39 — Evans Quaye

47 — Kwame Boahene

29 — Akwesi Donsu

MATCH OFFICIALS 

Referee — Emmanuel Eku Boateng

Line one referee — Sarfo Adade

Line two referee — Frank Boseman