Ghana Special Competition matchday one wrap: Happy start for Kotoko and Hearts

Whereas the Porcupines are targeting three points to hold on to their position, the Phobians are under pressure to return to winning ways

Giants Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak got their Ghana Football Association Normalisation Committee Special Competition off to a flying start with wins over Aduana Stars and Dreams FC respectively on Sunday.

The games were two of six matchday one matches that took place in the newly-introduced novelty league.

The ties marked the resumption of football activities in the west African nation since the suspension of the Premier League in June last year after an investigative documentary by renowned undercover journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas left the Ghana FA and its leadership in a turbulent bribery and corruption scandal.

The 16 top tier clubs have been grouped into two zones - Southern and Northern - with each zone comprising eight teams. 

The top two teams from each zone at the end of the home-and-away league format will progress to the semi-finals, with the two victors meeting in the grand finale to decide the ultimate winner, who will represent Ghana in the 2019-20 Caf Champions League.

In Zone A, Kotoko handed Aduana Stars a 1-0 defeat at Kumasi's Baba Yara Sports Stadium courtesy of an Abass Mohammed strike in just the second minute of the fixture.

In Obuasi, Shafiu Mumuni (pen) and Salia Ouattara netted to secure a 2-0 home win for Ashanti Gold over Eleven Wonders.

The game between Berekum Chelsea and Medeama, as well as the clash between Stallions FC (formerly Wa All Stars) and Bechem United, have been postponed.

In Zone B, a Kojo Obeng Junior's 48th-minute goal steered Hearts to a 1-0 home victory over Dreams at the Accra Sports Stadium.

Wafa recorded the biggest win of the weekend's round of games by a 3-1 triumph over Liberty Professionals in Sogakope. Fredrick Ansah Botchwah scored for the away side but goals from Justice Aaron Amate, Andrews Ntim, and Kingsford Opoku secured all three points for the Academy Boys.

Elsewhere, visitors Karela United stunned hosts Ebusua Dwarfs by a 2-1 victory in Cape Coast. Strikes by Emmanuel Osei Baffour and Diawisie Taylor overshadowed Abdul Dramani's goal for The Crabs.

In the final game, Inter Allies were held to a goalless draw by visitors Elmina Sharks in Tema.