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12.05.2008 General News

Last Sunday’s continental games... It was sweet and sour

By Kofi Owusu Aduonum - Ghanaian Chronicle

Ghana's Champions League lone rangers, Ashgold, suffered yet another shipwreck on the high seas of the Champions League competition, when they bowed 0-3 to JSK of Algeria last Sunday. In their bid to exorcise the North African ghost in their continental engagements, they failed dolefully.

Ashgold have had a torrid time qualifying into the money zone of the champions league competition ever since they appeared in the finals about a decade ago, and this time they have not taken their failure lightly. Reports from the Aboakese camp speaks of a massive overhauling of the team.

Barely three weeks ago in Algiers, Ashgold fumbled when much was expected of them in order to make the return leg a formality. The North African opposition has always presented a tough order for the Obuasi lads to surmount, and JSK were no different.

The game itself started with the miners in an uncompromising mood to make good their pre-match predictions of mauling the Algerians. Ashgold mounted incessant pressure but hard luck robbed them of countless chances until they were rewarded with a penalty, which they failed to utilize.

Characteristically, the visitors compounded the home side's situation with delay tactics allowing the North African to confirm their dominance over the miners in continental clashes.

But the same cannot be said of the Asante Kotoko-Wikki Tourists clash at the Baba Yara Stadium where they sent their Nigerian opponents packing in the competition.

After an impressive showing on foreign land in the first leg which ended 2-2, Kotoko gave good account of themselves when they emphatically defeated the visitors to qualify on a 6-3 aggregate.

Certainly, the qualification will go down in the annals of the club's history, with skipper Emmanuel Osei Kuffuor's name as one of the architects of the victory.

And after contributing immensely to the 2-2 away showpiece, he set the tone for the 4-1 win to crown his 32nd birthday which fell on Sunday.

Interestingly, the Ghanaians will continue their search for continental laurels as they return to Nigeria again, to face Dolphin FC for the next stage of the competition.

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