Retired Ghana midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu made his second debut in the Ghana Premier League as he lasted 80 minutes for Great Olympics in their 1-0 win over Bechem United in the opening game of the 2022/23 season.
The 31-year-old was handed a starting role by coach Yaw Preko and he impressed in the middle with his experience and class understanding of the game.
Matchday 1 matches started on Saturday and continued on Sunday with some interesting things to note about league.
These are EIGHT of them worthy of noting.
- Bechem United forward Hafiz Konkoni became the first player to go into the referee’s pocket as he was booked inside the 23rd minutes of the Hunters’ loss to Olympics at the Accra Sports Stadium. Referee Emmanuel Tampuri yellow carded the former Bolga All Stars captain for a bad challenge. Last season, Elmina Sharks defender Samuel Arthur, aged 33, was the first player to be booked. It took 69 minutes for the first card to be shown last season but, this season the opener travelled just 23 minutes for the first booking to be recorded.
- Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu returns! The 31-year-old, who once played in the top-flight league for Berekum Arsenal and Asante Kotoko, officially made his second debut as he lasted 80 minutes for Great Olympics in their slender 1-0 victory over Bechem United on Saturday. The former Udinese captain was substituted inside the 80th minute by Emmanuel Akesseh.
- Samuel Boadu at it again! The Hearts of Oak head coach was the first participant of the match between his side and Aduana Stars FC to get booked though he wasn’t on the pitch and it came that early. It was the quickest booking of the matchday – 9th minute. Referee Mohammed Misbau didn’t hesitate to flash the card to the emotional tactician when he angrily reacted to a decision from the touchline.
- Samuel Ashie-Quaye scored the first goal of the season! It took 82 minutes for the first goal of the season to be registered unlike last season when Hearts of Oak loanee Michelle Sarpong netted after 65 minutes for Elmina Sharks against Accra Lions at the Accra Sports Stadium in the season opener.
- Only SIX goals were scored in 7 games on matchday 1 with Berekum Chelsea and King Faisal set to play today. No matchday 1 game recorded more than a goal. An average of 0.85 goals per game – that is underwhelming. All 9 of last season’s opening games produced 17 goals – an average of 1.89 – a trend which is unlikely to be matched this season with just 2 games to go. Monday’s fixture between Chelsea and Faisal plus the postponed Kotoko vs Nsoatreman game must produce 11 goals to equal last season’s numbers.
- Three (3) red cards were recorded in 7 games on matchday 1 in the 2022/23 season and that is still short of the 1 red card from last season’s records. There are two more games to complete the numbers.
- 25 bookings were recorded on matchday 1 with Legon Cities’ Michael Ampadu being the first player to receive a straight red card in the 2022/23 season. Meanwhile, 30 cards were recorded on matchday 1 last season. Bechem United’s Abdul Karim was the first player to record a red card as the Hunters whipped Medeama 4-0 in Bechem.
- Samuel Inkoom, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu and Gladson Awako are all FIFA World Cup winners with the 2009 Ghana U20 squad and all of them were in action in the Ghana Premier League over the weekend.