Hearts, Kotoko falter on opening weekend

Ghana fans have had little to cheer about in the past three months, with their domestic league suspended. Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Inter Allies set the early pace in the new Ghana Premier League season as traditional giants Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko faltered to draws on the road.

The new season finally got off the ground on Saturday after two rounds of legal challenges stalled it, and it is Allies who lead on goal-difference after getting off the blocks quickly with a dominant display at home to Bechem United.

Nigerian striker Victorien Adebayor scored twice in 3-0 win, but the opening goal of the new season came from Dan Amanfo. The game was also notable for a more significant first, with Kwadwo Asamoah becoming the youngest player to play in the Ghana Premier League at 15 years and two months when he came on for Bechem.

On Sunday, it was a veteran stealing the headlines as Alex Asamoah scored for Eleven Wonders in Techiman on their Ghana Premier League debut to take a point against Hearts of Oak.

The Phobians were in front after only eight minutes when Winful Cobbina converted from the penalty spot, but Asamoah stepped up with the historic goal 10 minutes into the second half for the home side.

Hearts of Oak coach Henry Wellington called Asamoah's goal a "cheap header", but admits Wonders could be a handful for many teams this season.

"We allowed a very cheap header by Alex Asamoah to beat us but Eleven Wonders is a good side," Wellington said. "They are a good side who will go far from the way they played."

In Sogakope, Kumasi Asante Kotoko came from behind to earn a point at WAFA. The Porcupine Warriors looked to be heading for another defeat when former national Under-17 forward Aminu Mohammed put the home side in front from a free-kick after just three minutes.

Kotoko, however, pulled level on 18 minutes when Yakubu Mohammed deflected Jordan Opoku's effort past goalkeeper Richard Ayi. The goal was Kotoko's first in Sogakope in three visits in the Ghana Premier League.

The theme of early goals continued in Tarkwa where Kwame Boateng's seventh-minute goal earned Medeama all three points against Karela FC in the Western Derby.

Dreams FC were the only promoted side to win, leaving it late to beat Elmina Sharks 1-0 courtesy Shahani Sheberu's 88th-minute strike.

Ebusua Dwarfs needed a 68th-minute penalty from Amoah Mensah to beat Berekum Chelsea 1-0, while Shafui Mumuni scored the only goal for the 2015/16 league winners AshantiGold against the 2016/17 champions Wa All Stars in Obuasi.