AshantiGold’s dream of returning to the top echelons of African football vanished yesterday when they were bundled out of the CAF Confederations Cup competition on Saturday.
Against a wounded and determined RS Berkane side, the Ghanaians were beaten 2-0 to lose 4-3 on aggregate and miss the chance to play at the Money zone’ (league stage) of the competition.
The Ghanaians were aware they were walking on a tight rope the moment they threw away a 2-0 lead in the first leg in Obuasi when the Moroccans fought back to pull even.
The Ghanaians rallied back to score a late goal but knew they were in danger despite the confidence of the players and technical staff ahead of the second leg in Morocco.
With their backs against the wall, the Moroccans set out to attack from the start of the referee’s whistle but the ‘Miners’ kept their composure and weathered the storm.
The Ghanaian were, however, unsettled by an early send off of centre back defender, Musah Mohammed who was handed a straight red card following a challenge on a Moroccan player.
That boosted the confidence of the hosts who threw more men forward in search of an early goal but Ashgold remained resolute and thwarted the efforts of RS Berkane until the 32nd minute when they caved in to the pressure.
A long ball into the area of the Ghanaians was hit fiercely by Burkinabe attacker, Issoufou Dayo to open their account.
Ashgold attempted to fight back knowing they were already down and out with the solitary goal but they were pegged back by the Moroccans when Zaid Krouch’s long drive from outside the goal area found the net to hand them a 2-0 advantage heading into the second half.
With contentment written all over the faces of the RS Berkane lads, they plunged into game management mode, keeping possession in the middle area to draw the ‘Miners’ out to capitalise on their numerical disadvantage but the Ghanaians remained disciplined.