All is set for this year’s inter schools and colleges soccer competition of the Ashanti Region. Thirty two schools managed to make it in the qualifers and are set to battle it out for the coveted trophy.
Adu Gyamfi SHS successfully won the competition last year after defeating T. I. Amass by a lone goal but the dynamics will be quite different this year. The implementation of the Free SHS policy means talents are evenly distributed across the schools and that means underrating any opponent will be suicidal.
Raph-Sark takes a look at some of the matches scheduled for Day 1, tomorrow the 28th of November.
Play-Off Game: OKESS vs Atwima Kwanwoma SHS
This match will be highly competitive with qualification to the round of 32 at stake. Atwima Kwanwoma won 1:0 against OKESS during the qualifiers but OKESS eventually qualified. However a protest win by Atwima Kwanwoma over Westphalian and a subsequent appeal by OKESS resulted in this play off. Atwima do not really play particularly well but possesses a sharp attack to worry any side. When the two sides met a couple of weeks ago, OKESS dominated play totally but a very fast break for Atwima Kwanwoma against the run of play and the wastefulness of OKESS resulted in their defeat. OKESS should have learnt from their mistakes to know the threat of three of the Atwima players including their captain.
Predicted Score: Atwima 1:3 OKESS
Match 1: Islamic vs St. George’s
Islamic has proven to be formidable and consistent in the past three years. St Georges qualified through a protest and may not have the firepower to overcome Islamic. A very robust and aggressive play of Islamic coupled with their maturity should be enough to win them the day. Though not very tactical and very poor with their off the ball movement, Islamic are tipped to qualify.
Prediction : ISLAMIC 2:0 St. George’s
Match 2: Osei Tutu vs Ejisuman SHS
This will be a close game with O. T. expected to bounce back from their penalty defeat to Dompoase which denied them qualification on the pitch. A protest victory should have given OT something to learn from. Ejisuman are not a bad side and will give OT a very good run for their money however OT possess enough depth in quality to notch this one. It will be a compact game with midfield battles. OT’s wing play and their attack should guarantee them a narrow victory.
Prediction: O. T. 1:0 Ejisuman
Match 3: Dadease Agric vs KSTS
This game could go any where as the two sides are at parity in terms of their form.
KSTS bounced back from a very poor preparatory form to qualify after being thrashed 4:0 by OKESS. Dadease however looked quite good going into the game. This KSTS side is not as strong as their previous years. They are slow on the ball, do not have a very good passing game and looks sluggish upfront. Should Dadease believe in themselves and go all out, they should have a narrow victory.
Prediction : Dadease 2:1 KSTS
Match 4: Prempeh vs Adanwomasi SHS
This will be a game to watch as Prempeh College takes on a very difficult Adanwomasi side. Adanwomasi do not play particularly eye pleasing football but manages to get the job done at any point in time. Prempeh didn’t particularly look good in the qualifiers and struggled against many schools in their friendlies. They however gathered momentum to qualify. Adanwomasi do not allow their opponents to play and proves difficult to break down.
A not-so-sharp Prempeh attack means Adanwomasi might probably take the game to a shootout.
Prediction: Adanwomasi 0:0 (Adanwomasi to win on penalties)
Okomfo Anokye SHS vs K. T. I.
This will be another exciting game as a passionate K. T. I. side takes on a decent Okomfo Anokye SHS side which survived a protest scare to get here.
K. T. I. also bounced back from an initial setback in their qualifiers to book a qualification ticket. Okomfo Anokye will be a very stubborn side to break down and K. T. I. should be prepared to sweat to break them down. The two sides do not particularly play beautiful football but focussed on getting the ball to the opponents half. The match will likely be decided on penalties
Prediction :KTI to win on penalties.
Match 6: Sakafia vs OKESS/Atwima
Sakafia should have a relatively easier opponent if Atwima Kwanwoma comes out victorious against OKESS but should have a job on their hands with OKESS.
Fatigue for OKESS /Atwima may be advantageous to Sakafia after their play off game in the morning. However if Sakafia decides to underestimate their opponents, it might be suicidal. Sakafia comes into this game having won the Top 8 tournament. Sakafia are robust, strong, aggression and can wear down any opponent into submission. They don’t particularly play eye pleasing football and lacks tactical awareness.
Their momentum over the past years means
that they are well motivated to deliver another good outing.
Prediction : Sakafia 1:0 OKESS/Atwima
Stay tuned for more news, previews, reviews and more from the desk of Raph-Sark in the inter schools soccer competition.