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Ghana Premier League

Advantage Samartex in chase for 2023/24 Ghana Premier League title

FC Samartex 1996 took a giant step towards clinching their first ever Ghana Premier League title with a nervy win over Berekum Chelsea, Nations FC hopes of lifting the trophy took a hit, while defending champions Medeama climbed into the top-four after Sunday’s round of matches in the Ghanaian top-flight.

Sunday was certainly a Samartex day in the Ghana Premier League as they sit pretty at the top of the table, holding a five-point lead over their title rivals, heading into the eight games of the season.

Other big result over the weekend saw champions Medeama jumping into the top-four after a hard-fought win over Legon Cities.

The battle for survival is a watershed for the three clubs that will bid the Premier League goodbye at the end of the 2023-24 season.

Currently, Karela United, Heart of Lions and Real Tamale United are the trio battling for survival while Bofoakwa Tano, Dreams FC are just above the drop zone.

As the team down the perking order fight to stay above the drop, the battle for the supremacy is well and truly on course for FC Samartex 1996.

Samartex, just in their second season in the domestic top-flight,  now have their feet up watching their closest challengers Nations FC dropping points at home.

A dominant performance in their 3-2 win over Berekum Chelsea at the Nsenkyire Sports Arena means, the Timber giants could be cruising to a historic Premier League success if they are able to maintain their impressive home record.

In 13 home games, the Timber giants have won a staggering 12 games and lost just once,  in a breathtaking campaign punctuated with champagne football in Aboi.

Samartex have simply been phenomenal at home this season, now on tie with Aduana Stars as the team with the highest home win ratio in the 2023-24 Premier League season so far.

Nations FC’s hopes of challenging for the Premier League crown took an unexpected hit after they laboured to a 2-2 draw at home to struggling Bofoakwa Tano at the Dr. Kwame Kyei Sports Stadium.

The draw feels like a defeat after slipping five points behind the leaders in the Premier League  title race.

Aduana Stars needed an injury-time winner to see off an improved Heart of Lions at home – as it appears the Nana Agyemang Badu I park is no longer the intimidating fortress it was years ago.

The Fire Club are now two points behind second-placed Nations FC and seven behind leaders Samartex.

Defending champions Medeama leapfrogged Berekum Chelsea to fourth on the table after they were made to work hard for their 1-0 win over Legon Cities at home.

The Mauve and Yellow needed a gravity-defying header from Kamaradini Mamudu to bag the maximum point at the Akoon Community park.

But Medeama will drop to 5th on the table if Accra Lions negotiate their tie against Bibiani GoldStars FC at the Accra Sports Stadium on Monday.

While the three basement club fight to avoid the drop, there are as many as seven other teams who are also in danger of being relegated from the top-flight including giants Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak.

Asante Kotoko’s unflattering campaign has added a layer of drama to the spectacle – amid an emotional turmoil for supporters whose teams are battling to stay afloat.

For everyone involved with a football club, the threat of relegation is emotionally taxing.

Down at the bottom of the table, Real Tamale United and Heart of Lions in particular, may require a miracle to avoid the drop with eight matches to end the season  – with a share ratio of four each for home and away matches.

For some teams, that glimmer of hope is fading week by week, while others can look on more optimistically about their survival prospect.

Credit: Ghana FA

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