The last time Ghanaian side Ashantigold played in the CAF Confederation Cup was in 2011 and they were eliminated by Etoile Sahel of Tunisia 4-2 aggregate at the 1/16th round.
Their next taste of continental football was in the CAF Champions League in 2016 where they exited at the preliminary round after losing 3-2 to Algeria’s MO Béjaïa.
For a club that has dominated the Ghana Premier League for some time, the technical team believes it’s time for them to put the club on the map, a reason Management is leaving no stone unturned in their bid to make a positive outing in the second-tier continental club championship.
Despite losing head coach, Kjetil Zachariassen, to fellow Premier League side Asante Kotoko, the Miners swiftly brought in Brazilian coach, Ricardo Cordeiro da Rocha to head the technical staff.
The timing might be short, but Da Rocha knows the ins and outs of the Ghana football terrain, having coached Ghanaian top-flight outfit Ebusua Dwarfs during the 2016/17 season before leaving for Italy to assist Coach Alberto Bolini to manage Club Salernitano in 2018.
A novice when it comes to African football, but he believes in his new squad and their zeal to succeed, something he stressed will be vital in their continental sojourn.
“The players are hungry for the continental outing and so are the fans. I inherited a Club that has so much fire in them to succeed and that is what will help us in this quest,” Da Rocha said.
This weekend, they play as guests to Akonangui FC of Equatorial Guinea in the preliminary round of qualifying.
“This is what we have been preparing for. We won the competition in Ghana to qualify and get the chance to play in Africa, so we have to respond irrespective of which team we have been presented with.”
He revealed that together with the rest of the technical staff, they have been monitoring their opponent’s performance in recent times and have a fair idea of what they are up against. “Yes we know them”, he replied to a question about having a fair idea of his opponents.
“We have been working together to study some basic things about their play. We know what to expect in Equatorial Guinea, so we are preparing for it. Most of these players have not played in this competition before, but are willing to make a mark. So yes, we are ready. Let’s see how far we can go, but taking one match at a time is key at this point”, he added.
The second leg will take place in Obuasi in a fortnight.
Friday, 9 August 2019
Paradou (Algeria) vs CI Kamsar (Guinea)
Saturday, 10 August 2019
ASC SNIM (Mauritania) vs ESAE (Benin)
Pelican (Gabon) vs Maniema (DR Congo)
*Mogadishu City (Somalia) vs Malindi (Zanzibar)
Akonangui (Equatorial Guinea) vs Ashantigold (Ghana)
Niger Tornadoes (Nigeria) vs Santoba (Guinea)
Buildcon (Zambia) vs Young Buffaloes (Eswatini)
AS Kigali (Rwanda) vs KMC (Tanzania)
Proline (Uganda) vs Masters Security (Malawi)
Bandari (Kenya) vs Ahly Shandy (Sudan)
CR Belouizdad (Algeria) vs Coton Tchad (Chad)
Sunday, 11 August 2019
US Gendarmerie (Niger) vs Al Ittihad (Libya)
Maranatha (Togo) vs LISCR (Liberia)
Bolton City (Mauritius) vs Jwaneng Galaxy (Botswana)
TS Galaxy (South Africa) vs St. Louis (Seychelles)
ARTA Solar (Djibouti) vs El Khartoum (Sudan)
Motema Pembe (DR Congo) vs Stade Renard (Cameroon)
US Ben Guerdane (Tunisia) vs Amarat (South Sudan)
Fasil Kenema (Ethiopia) vs Azam (Tanzania)
Triangle (Zimbabwe) vs Rukinzo (Burundi)
Pyramids (Egypt) vs Etoile du Congo (Congo)
*Both matches will be played in Zanzibar
Samuel A. Boakye-Buckman (popularly known as Dada Oliseh) is a self-motivated young journalist with a passion for telling stories better with pictures. He is the founder, owner, editor and bankroller of www.ghanasoccernews.org as well as this website, www.totalsportsgh.com. Dada Oliseh is again the brain behind the Dada Oliseh Photos brand that produces awesome pictures of all sporting activities, nature, and other occasions.
He has a vast experience in the reporting of sports in Ghana especially football-related activities in Ghana and beyond. A former employee of Hearts News (official mouthpiece of Accra Hearts of Oak), 90 minutes sports paper, National Sports Authority, Footballcrusader.com, sportscrusader.com, and ghanafootballnews.com, Samuel is one of the few energetic and self-motivated young journalist in Ghana with a large following on social media, especially Facebook (https://web.facebook.com/boakye.buckman.9). He is well known for his frequent updates from all over the country with pictures to match. He is also a correspondent for a few international websites, including CAF. In recent times, he has introduced, as part of his many talents, the live streaming of matches and football-related activities. He lives in Accra Ghana.