By Yussif Ibrahim/ Emmanuel Ofosu
Kumasi, Sept. 18, GNA – Asante Kotoko was dumped out of the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) Champions League on Sunday at the Baba Yara Stadium by R C Kadiogo of Burkina Faso after beating them 3-1 on penalties.
Kotoko could not put the icing on the cake in front of a packed Baba Yara Stadium, having won the first leg by one goal in Benin on Monday.
They conceded the only goal of the match on the 15th minute and failed to draw parity for the rest of the match, leaving the teeming fans frustrated and dejected.
It was Kotoko that launched the first attack under one minute when the referee signalled for commencement of proceedings but Samuel Boateng’s effort was not good enough to fetch the opener.
The Burkinabes also came close to punishing Asante Kotoko almost immediately at the other end but for a timely interception by a Kotoko defender.
Steve Mukwala fluffed the brightest opportunity to put his side ahead after ten minutes with a yawning net before him after beating the goalkeeper.
The visitors would however punish the Porcupines five minutes later from a free kick just outside the penalty box.
Dramane Kambou’s drive from the set-piece took a wicked deflection off the body of a Kotoko defender, sending Danlad Ibrahim the wrong direction for the opener.
The goal appeared to have boosted the confidence of Kadiogo as they took the game to Kotoko, creating some nervous moments in the goal area of Kotoko.
They continued to threaten Kotoko as they exploited Kotoko’s desperation to draw level with series of dangerous incursions into Kotoko’s vital area.
Kotoko came strongly into the picture after the half hour mark but all their efforts yielded no positive results until referee Patrick Philippe brought the first 45 minutes to an end.
Just 15 minutes after the break Kotoko made double substitutions, bringing on George Mfegue and Solomon Sarfo Taylor in place of Samuel Boateng and Steve Mukwala respectively to spice up an uninspiring performance.
Their involvement did make any significant improvement as Kadiogo adopted delay tactics to frustrate free flow of the game.
Kotoko however continued to push for the equaliser as they piled pressure on their opponents conscious of the limited time at their disposal.
All their raids in the opposition half could not break a resolute Kadiogo who held on to their solitary lead, forcing the game into a penalty shootout.