Kotoko declared winners without kicking ball

It turned out to be an exciting day for Ghana’s representatives in the CAF Champions League – Asante Kotoko, as they were declared winners without kicking a ball against Mauritanian side Nouadhibou FC at the Accra Sports Stadium yesterday.

This followed the failure of the Mauritanians to raise a team for the return leg tie in Accra; the first leg having ended in a fierce 1-1 draw at the Stade Municipal de Nouadhibou last week.

Kotoko, thus, qualified on a 3-1 aggregate victory and are due to face Sudanese side Al Hilal in the final qualifying round.

Two players of FC Noadhibou tested positive after a second COVID-19 test and had to be omitted from their squad, leaving the Mauritanians with only 14 players.

The match was originally slated for Saturday but had to be deferred due to the test results of the two Nouadhibou players.

Match Commissioner, Kouame Dehoule gave the green light for the points to be awarded to Kotoko after officials from Nouadhibou refused to play with 14 players.

On hearing the decision, the Kotoko players and officials took to the field to celebrate.

Meanwhile, the nation’s representatives in the CAF Confederations Cup –  AshantiGold SC – have seen an early exit in the competition after suffering a 2-1 defeat away to Burkina Faso side Salitas FC in the second leg of the preliminary round played in Ouagadougou.

The Miners failed to secure qualification to the next stage following a goalless draw in the first encounter in Obuasi – handing Salitas the advantage to move to the next round of the competition with the victory.

AshantiGold coach Milovan Cirkovic made four changes to the starting line-up with Abdul Bashiru, Kwame Moses, Mark Agyekum and goalkeeper Mohamed Bailou replacing Roland Amouzou, Empem Dacosta, Eric Esso and Robert Dabuo.

Playing with more confidence on home soil, Salitas grabbed a well-deserved lead through forward Boissy Stephanne who missed the first game.

The Senegalese forward connected perfectly from Eliass Dianda’s pass to slot home the opener 13 minutes into the first half.

Fast forward, Omar Kabore sent in a teasing cross as Boissy was there to score the second for Salitas and registered his brace on the 39th minute.

The visitors mounted pressure on Salitas in search of a goal, before the stroke of first half and their efforts paid off when David Abagna pulled one back to give AshantiGold a lifeline.

However, the Miners failed to utilise the chances created in the second half despite enjoying a larger part of the possession.


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