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Sports News of Saturday, 10 February 2018

Source: ghananewsagency.org

Can Aduana and Kotoko reclaim Ghana’s lost glory?

Ghanaian clubs, Aduana Stars and Asante Kotoko begin their quest for African honours this weekend in the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) Champions League and Confederation Cup respectively, with both of them optimistic of ending Ghana's recent poor displays in the two competition.

The reigning Ghanaian champions Aduana Stars would be away at Libya's Al Tahaddy in a fixture, that would be played in Egypt, while Kotoko faces Congolese heavyweights CARA Brazzaville in the first leg of their preliminary round clash at the BabaYara Stadium on Sunday.

Ghana has had poor outings in recent continental club competitions, with the last representatives, Wa All Stars and Bechem United, all exiting the first qualifying stage.

No Ghanaian club has won a continental trophy since Accra Hearts of Oak beat Kotoko in 2004, to clinch the inaugural Confederation Cup, while the performances of the nation's teams in the Champions League have consistently been underwhelming.

Only once in the last 14 years that is 2012, when a Ghanaian side reached the group stage of the Champions League, although the tournament's new extended format ought to give hope to both Aduana Stars and Asante Kotoko that they can buck the trend.

Kotoko is keen to recreate the atmosphere that made the Baba Yara Stadium, one of the most dreadful venues in African football in the 80s and 90s, and has embarked on a massive fan drive, by distributing club flags in their home base of Kumasi.

Aduana Stars' history in continental competition is limited, but coach Yusif Abubakar is keen on establishing themselves on the continent this year.

“We are ready for this game. We have been ready from the first moment we won the league.

“The target for us is to at least equal what Berekum Chelsea did and reached the group stage," he continued. That would be an achievement," Yusif told the media.

These two preliminary games are crucial to start a campaign that promises to present Ghana with another opportunity to reclaim its rightful place in the reigns of African Football. GNA