Posted On Monday, 8th April 2013
The Accra Sports Stadium erupted in wild jubilation with news of Asante Kotoko’s elimination from the CAF Champions League.
Fans of the Phobians were watching their side in MTN FA Cup action against second tier club Starke FC when news of Kotoko’s 1-1 draw with JSM Bejaia filtered through on Sunday.
The Ghanaian champions crashed out of the competition on the away-goals-rule after securing a goalless draw in the first leg encounter in Algeria.
A stunning free kick by midfielder Michael Akuffo edged the Porcupine Warriors in the lead on the stroke of halftime at the Baba Yara Stadium.
Kotoko however relaxed in their pressing for more goals as they took a defensive posture to protect their slim lead in the second half.
The Algerians who has upped their game struck the equalizer in the 74th minute.
The visitors held on for their lives thereafter to secure progress on the away goals rule – much to the disappointment of the expectant Kotoko fans on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the news was greeted with great cheers in Accra as in-form rivals Hearts of Oak were doing the business in the FA Cup.
Their joy was sweetened with the Phobians beating the second tier club 2-0 courtesy goals from strikers; Gilbert Fiamenyo and Mahatma Otoo.
Hearts have been priding themselves as Ghana’s king of African club competition following their Champions League and Super Cup feat in 2000.
Despite Kotoko winning two African Cups, the Hearts fans claim it was in the old inter-club format and that the Fabulous lads lack the pedigree and character to win the competition in its current format.
Kotoko have now failed to emulate the great strides made by Berekum Chelsea in last season’s edition with their elimination at just the 1/16th stage of the competition.