It didn’t take Ahmed Toure very long — all of three minutes, in fact — on his Medeama SC bow to announce his return to the Ghana Premier League.
Toure — as familiar with the local terrain as any import could be, and maybe the most celebrated of them all — scored the opener, setting the tone for the hosts’ first home loss of the season.
It was the sort of goal that Medeama would have hoped Toure still had in him even in the twilight of a career that has seen him play for clubs on three continents, two of them (Bechem United and, more memorably, Asante Kotoko) in the Ghanaian top-flight.
Medeama’s capture of Toure came at the end of a run that had seen the Mauve and Yellow win only one of seven games, almost rubbishing pre-season predictions of a genuine title pursuit. More than anything, Samuel Boadu’s side was in dire need of goals, having only managed just four in their opening six games of the campaign before doubling that number in the seventh, an unusually high-scoring match lost away to WAFA.
“We are happy to bring in Ahmed Toure at this stage of the season,” Boadu, the head coach, said of a veteran whose goalscoring powers are almost the stuff of legend in these parts.
“We have struggled in front of goal since the start of the season and we believe he will provide the needed impetus to turn things around.”
That turnaround, though, was sparked by Boadu’s charges sans Toure. Medeama won four of their next seven games before the Burkinabe’s debut, making Toure’s job a little easier when he finally played for his new club at Sharks’ Nduom Sports Complex.
His first goal was aided by poor communication — between a hesitant defender and an overzealous goalkeeper — that helped Toure steal a ball which arrived long and deep from Medeama’s own half, knocking it into an empty goal.
And the last laugh was his, too, after Benjamin Bernard Boateng had leveled brilliantly. Five minutes from the end, Toure struck the winner — more precisely than powerfully — from a freekick, some 20 yards out.
Not a bad [first] day’s work from a 33-year-old, eh?
The result lifts Medeama up to fifth, a position from which visions of glory don’t seem so distant or unrealistic anymore. And it wasn’t just the three points that Medeama have robbed Sharks of this week; they’ve also snatched midfielder Benjamin Arthur, another fine mid-term acquisition.
Former WAFA and Aduana Stars creator Zakaria Mumuni is one more, but Toure – Zakaria’s teammate at Congolese club AS Vita only months ago – is, doubtlessly, the new arrival many would expect the most transformative effect from.
Toure, on his own, is certainly capable of delivering that, but how well he links up with returnee Prince Opoku Agyemang in a potential strike partnership could prove an even more promising, more productive prospect.
And if Toure’s display in Elmina was the preview, we’re in for quite a show, nearly 15 years after he first arrived here.