Hearts of Oak last played in CCL in 2008 and was eliminated in the Quarter finals of the preliminary round on 4-3 on aggregate by Lebriville of Gabon. The Phobians have had a very terrible record in Africa club competitions since winning the maiden edition of the CAF Confederations Cup against their arch-rivals Kumasi Asante Kotoko in 2005.
Here, The Post informs you on how the Ghanaian clubs have fared against Moroccan clubs.
The CCL began in the 1964/65 season and no Ghanaian club played a Moroccan club until 23 years later.
The first Ghanaian-Moroccan club encounter in the Caf Champions league was a tie between Asante Kotoko and Wydad Atletic in 1987. Kotoko played Wydad Casablanca in the second round of the African Club Championship. Kotoko won 2-0 in Kumasi after drawing 1-1 in Morocco against Wydad in the first leg.
Kotoko in 1990, in the second round, won 4-3 on aggregate against FAR Rabat. A very entertaining 3-3 draw in Morocco and Kotoko won by a lone goal to nil in the second leg.
Kotoko in 1993 also triumphed against Kawkab Marrakech.It ended 3-1 on aggregate.Kotoko emphatically won 3-0 in the first leg at the Kumasi sports stadium and lost narrowly by 1-0 in Marrakech.
The fourth encounter involving Ghanaian clubs and Moroccan clubs was a tie between Ashgold and COD Meknes in 1996. In the second round of the competition,COD Meknes won 1-0 in Morocco and drew goalless in Obuasi. The Moroccans triumphed 1-0 on aggregate.
In 1997, the group stages of the competition was introduced.Raja Casablanca and Obuasi Goldfields topped Group A and B respectively. Hence,they met in the grand finale. Coach Herbert Addo and his Goldfields on 30th November in 1997 won by 1-0 at the Len Clay Stadium in Obuasi in the first leg with the winning goal scored on the 79th minute by Lawrence Adjei. On December 14th 1997 at The Stade Mohamed V, Casablanca, Raja also won thanks to Nazir’s 78th minute strike.Raja triumphed 5-4 on penalties and lifted the trophy.
In 1999 in the group stages, Raja was in the same group (A) with Accra Hearts of Oak. Matchday 1 on August 22nd pitted the two in Casablanca, Raja won by an early goal scored by Redouane El Himer in the 2nd minute. The return encounter was on Matchday 5 (October 23), Hearts of Oak drew goalless at the Accra Sports Stadium with the Moroccan giants.
The 7th meeting was a repeat of the 1990 encounter. On 6th March 2005, Kotoko this time around was eliminated by FAR in the semi finals of the qualification. Kotoko won the first leg by Yussif Chibsah’s 77th minute powerful header from a corner kick and was beaten 2-0 in Rabat by FAR Rabat in the return encounter. Kotoko lost 2-1 on aggregate.
Shaibu Yakubu’s early spot kick in the second half and Alex Asamoah’s injury time goal helped Ashgold in 2007 secured a 2-0 lead in the first leg but was beaten 3-0 by FAR Rabat in the Second leg. Ashgold lost 3-2 to FAR Rabat on aggregate.
Stephen Oduro’s strike in between Jordan Opokus brace in 2009 at the Essippong Stadium gave Kotoko a 3-1 first leg lead against Ittihad Kemisset. Kotoko played the game away from Kumasi because they were serving a ban after attacking referee Koffi Codja in their 2-2 draw in CAF Confederations Cup group game against Etoile Du Sahel the previous season. Ittihad Kemisset surprisingly won 2-0 in the second leg and won the tie on away goal rule.
Wydad, Hearts of Oak’s opponent on the 15th October played their second Champions league game against a Ghanaian opponent in 2011. They won the first leg by 3-0 in Casablanca against Aduana Stars. Don Bortey’s 37th minutes penalty defeated Wydad 1-0 in the second leg but it wasn’t enough to progress them.
In 2012, the last time a Ghanaian and a Moroccan club met in the CCL. Berekum Chelsea marvelously massacred Raja Casablanca by 5 goals to nil. That game undoubtedly restored the nations club football lost pride. Emmanuel Clottey scored an unforgettable hattrick. Skipper Abdul Basit and Solomon Asante also scored against the Moroccans. The biggest winning marging of any CCL fixture between clubs of the two countries. Raja only equalised 3 of the goals in the second leg. Berekum Chelsea won 5-3 on aggregate.
In all, 22 games have been played between the two countries in the CAF Champions League. The two countries have nine wins apiece and four draws.
source: Oliver Amakye Ansah