If there is any match that Techiman-based Ampem Darkoa Ladies want to win desperately and will do anything to achieve that aim, it will be tomorrow’s Women’s Premier League championship final playoff against Hasaacas Ladies.
Tomorrow at the Accra Stadium at 3:00p.m, the two sides will clash for the second straight league final in two seasons. Last season when they clashed, Ampem Darkoa, the unbeaten champions of the northern zone had high hopes, but they were beaten 4-0 by a vintage Hasaacas Ladies side who would go on to beat the Techiman-based Nanamma also in the FA Cup final as well as the maiden First Lady’s Cup.
This is will be the fourth league final clash of which Hasaacas have won three, but overall, the two sides have clashed in six finals, including the Normalisation Competition, the FA Cup and the First Lady’s Cup. In all those matches, the Hasmal Ladies won.
Referee Rita Boateng Nkansah has been handed the responsibility of being in the middle as these two sides do battle for pride, prestige and the right to represent at Africa ???.
Presented with a chance, Coach Nana Adarkwah is keen to loosen the grip on Hasaacas Ladies on women’s football in Ghana and in achieving that, also establish their credentials as champions too.
More desperately, they want to be the side that would represent Ghana at this year’s CAF Women’s Champions League as the Ghana Football Association (GFA) would submit the name of Ghana’s representative to CAF immediately after the game ahead of the deadline for submission tomorrow (May 29).
“We have to stop them and end the pain of being so close yet having the trophy eluding us. That can only be achieved by ensuring that we beat them this time around. We have done that before so it is achievable, we just have to prepare and strategise for them,” Coach Adarkwah told the Daily Graphic in an interview.
For Yusif Basigi, tomorrow’s game presents another chance of proving that Hasaacas Ladies are the best and for them as well, an opportunity to return to the continental competition for an unfinished business.
“The achievements of last season are now in the trophy closet, This is a new season and a new opportunity. We are still hungry for success and that will be our motivation.
“Importantly, last season we had hoped to win the CAF Champions League but that did not happen. We want to return to the competition to complete that mission and the only way to do that is by winning the WPL title, so unfortunately, we have to fight for it. We are not taking anything for granted,” Coach Yusif Basigi said of his history-chasing ambitions.
Road to final
This season, the defending champions went unbeaten, winning 14 out of the 18 matches played and drawing in four. They scored 36 goals conceded and garnered 46 points and by the 15th game, they had already been declared the southern zone champions for the seventh time.
For Ampem Darkoa, for the first time, they had to wait till the very end to know their fate with their win against Savannah Ladies clinching the win ahead of close contenders, Pearlpia Ladies. Out of the 18 matches played, The northern zone won 12, drew in three and lost three and won with 39 points. However, Ampem Darkoa scored more goals, 45 against Hasaacas’ 36. Both conceded 10 goals each in their respective campaign.
Players to watch
The two sides boast of quality players and this contest will once again be one between a potent striking side against a resolute, experience defence. With the likes of Ophelia Serwaa Amponsah and Mavis Owusu likely to start for Ampem Darkoa, it will be interesting to see how they fare against the experienced duo of Linda Eshun and Janet Egyir who will be at the heart of the Hasaacas Ladies’ rear.