Line up of Ashantigold ahead of the Salitas match
AshantiGold yesterday wasted many scoring chances and failed to put their best foot forward as Salitas FC of Burkina Faso held them to a scoreless draw in their CAF Confederation Cup preliminary round first match at the Len Clay Stadium, Obuasi.
Playing an improved second half game, the Miners fumbled each time they came close to scoring.
From Hans Kwofie, through to Yaw Annor, the players simply lost focus and the calmness to deliver.
The selected club officials who thronged the stadium left heartbroken, fearing that the team may miss out in the return leg in Ouagadougou.
AshantiGold need to win all three preliminary matches to make it to the money zone but that could be difficult.
Wearing their traditional yellow with black trimmings, they started on a cautious note as their two strikers of Yaw Annor and Hans Kwofie made little impact.
The Burkinabe attacked sparingly with most of their actions around the center circle. And their few attempts at entering the penalty area were halted by hard-tackling Richard Osei Agyemang.
The two teams struggled to identify their colleagues due to similarity in the jerseys, leading to wrong passes initially.
And when they finally got used to the situation, it was AshantiGold who made lots of incursions yet found it difficult to open the score.
Togolese import, Roland Koussivi Amouzou, wasted a 16th minute free-kick at the edge of the edge of the arch while Kwofie lifted a close rang over the cross bar.
Salitas, formed in 2015 and qualified for the Burkinabe premiership in 2016, broke out from their shells with two quick attempts at goal.
Right back for Salitas, Daniel Ouedarogo’s deceptive kick outside the “box” went off the body of goalkeeper Robert Dabou as he struggled to make a first time save. The resultant corner kick was wasted by the visitors.
Salitas are making their second appearance in CAF’s second tier inter-club competition but have failed to make it to the money zone.
Team sources say the team played without a key player (name withheld) who reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 after a test conducted on the team’s arrival at the Kotoko International Airport.
He was subsequently sent to the Ga East Hospital for treatment.
After their brief attack, Salitas recoiled into their shells, apparently to frustrate AshantiGold and secure a planned drawn game.
By the 35th minute AshantiGold had taken total control of the game but lost focus each time they came close to scoring.
The Salitas side, strong at the back, hardly crossed the centreline.
Lone striker for Salitas, Omar Kabore, hit the upright in the 40th minute with a diving header from one of their fast breaks as Dabou had no answer to it.
AshantiGold’s best opportunity came in the 49th minute when David Abagna Sandan, with only goalkeeper Rabin Sanow to beat, missed the upright narrowly.
And minutes later, Hans Kwofie hit the upright in a similar fashion in a crowded goal area.
Apparently desperate for a goal, AshantiGold blew away chance after chance as the visitors tightened their defence.
Referee Issa Mouhamed from Benin had to halt the match temporarily in the 70th minute as AshantiGold defender, Agyemang, collapsed on the touchline and had to be rushed into a waiting ambulance and taken to the clinic.