The most recent match result featured on the homepage, for instance, stretches back to March 2020, when the Phobians beat capital rivals Accra Great Olympics in the Ghana Premier League (GPL). Hearts fans wouldn’t mind, though, given how memorable that game — that Wednesday evening – turned out.
Neither team was on a particularly good run of form. Between them, they had won just three of their preceding seven games, and a lot weighed on that Week 14 clash at the Accra Sports Stadium.
In what would be Hearts’ last game of the season — they didn’t know it then, and Olympics would take in just one more before the coronavirus pandemic eventually ended that season — they answered the ‘who owns the city?’ question emphatically, smashing their ‘noisy’ neighbours 4-0.
Even for neutrals, that match — including its build-up and immediate aftermath — was quite a spectacle, a case study in just how great the GPL could be if packaged and sold properly, and many were left craving a sequel.
Almost a whole year later, it’s on: come Saturday, Hearts and Olympics would contest the latest instalment of the Ga Mashie/Mantse Derby. At stake is pride, as always, but the biggest prize would be the three points. Hearts’ revival under Serbian trainer Kosta Papic faces its toughest test yet, but success could carry them to the summit for the first time this season.
Victory for Olympics — only their second against the old enemy in the current century, should they manage it — won’t propel them as far, but that would bring them another big scalp (after record champions Asante Kotoko’s, bagged earlier in the season) to underline their giant-killing credentials.
This time, unlike last year, both clubs go into the game in healthy spirits. Hearts are second on the log and Olympics only a point behind, but the fact that the latter are actually down in seventh reveals a tightness on this year’s league table — especially in its upper half — which sees the top 10 teams packed tighter than sardines in a tin of TITUS, separated by just four points.
And with six of those sides thrown into a bag of major derby delights during the upcoming round of games — Ashantigold vs Asante Kotoko (Ashanti) and Karela United vs Medeama (Nzema) are the others — Week 11 could prove a real treat for fans.
For fireworks, though, the latest battle for Accra — between the ‘land-lords’ and the ‘land-guards’, however that drama plays out — should be unrivalled.