The Continental Club Masters, Accra Hearts of Oak, has secured the much awaited Ghana Premier League title after a twelve-year wait. The Phobians won the title despite a 1-1 draw with their city rivals, Liberty Professionals at the Accra Sports Stadium today with a game to spare.
Accra Hearts of Oak registered the first goal of the day through a classic header from in-form Daniel Afriyie Barnieh at added time in the first half of the fiercely contested game. However, Liberty scored the equalizer late in the game to secure a vital away point.
This is the 21st league title for the Accra-based club, only two behind their Archrivals, Kumasi Asante Kotoko, with 23 league titles. The last time the Phobians won the league title was in 2009. All credit to the head coach Samuel Boadu for the great achievement since joining the rainbow club.
The result also mean that the rainbow club will now represent the nation in the CAF Champions league next year. The players are very confident that they have what it takes to compete with the giants on the continent.
The Ghana Football Association has promised to reward the winner of the Ghana Premier League (GPL) a cash prize of ¢250,000 plus a league trophy, even without a headline sponsor.
The result means that Hearts has lifted the trophy, secured 40 gold medals, ¢10,000 worth of groceries from Melcom Shopping Center and the cash prize of ¢250,000.
The new cash prize package is an increment of the GH¢180,000 Aduana Stars received for winning the last league title in the 2016/17 campaign.
The Phobians now lead the pack with 61 points, four points ahead of second-place Kumasi Asante Kotoko. Going into this afternoon games, the Phobians were very confident that they were going to lift the trophy because the Phobians had a better head-to-head record over the Porcupine Warriors after beating them 1-0 in the second leg of their GPL fixture.
Meanwhile, the result was also great for Liberty Professionals who are also battling relegation. The scientific soccer lags now have a must-win game against King Faisal in the final day to brighten their chances of playing in the top flight in the next season.
Elsewhere, title contenders and Archrivals of Accra Hearts of Oak, Kumasi Asante Kotoko, had their title hopes dashed after they were beaten 2-1 by Bechem United on Sunday in a game that was played simultaneously.
Accra Hearts of Oak Sporting Club, nicknamed the Phobians, was founded on November 11, 1911 in the then Gold Coast. However, in the year 2000, the club was nicknamed the rainbow boys when they conquered the African continent. The club is one of the most successful clubs in the premier league.
Hearts of Oak won their first major match in 1922 when Sir Gordon Guggisberg, governor of the Gold Coast, founded the Accra Football League. Hearts won 6 out of 12 seasons in this league. In 1956, Hearts joined the Ghanaian football league and have flourished since; 21 league titles and 10 FA cups.
The club has won several trophies on the African continent including the 2004 CAF Confederation Cup and the 2001 CAF Super Cup. In 2000, the club won the trio thus, the Ghana FA cup, the Ghana Premier League and the CAF Champions League.