History Asante Kotoko won Ghana's first African Clubs Championship

Asante Kotoko won Ghana’s first African Clubs Championship

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On 24th January, 1971, Asante Kotoko won Ghana’s first African Clubs Championship (now CAF Champions League) by beating T.P Englebert (Now T.P Mazembe) by 2-1 at their own backyard.

On 24th January, 1971, Asante Kotoko won Ghana's first African Clubs Championship (now CAF Champions League) by beating T.P Englebert (Now T.P Mazembe) by 2-1 at their own backyard.
Kotoko’s Oliver Acquah (in white) in an aerial duel with deadly striker Kalala mukendi of Englebert

In 1967 when Ghana’s Asante Kotoko met the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s T.P Englebert (Now T.P Mazembe), both matches ended in draws (1–1 and 2–2 respectively).

CAF suggested a play-off, but the Ghanaians refused to compete, and the title was handed to T.P Englebert (Now T.P Mazembe), who went on to win the title again the following year.

However, Asante Kotoko got their revenge in 1970, when Kotoko and Mazembe once again met in the final.

Once again, the first game ended 1–1 but against expectation, Asante Kotoko ran out 2–1 winner in their away game to lift the title that had eluded them three years earlier.

It should be recalled that although the final was played in January 1971, it was a 1970 championship.

The game was played at the gigantic Reverend Tata Raphael stadium in Kinshasa, in front of the then Head of State of Zaire, Mobutu Seseko.

The extravagant president had promised houses and other gifts for his Englebert players if they beat Kotoko for the title.

Mobutu supported by donating his own Gulf stream Jet to the team for their first leg trip to Kumasi.

On 24th January, 1971, Asante Kotoko won Ghana's first African Clubs Championship (now CAF Champions League) by beating T.P Englebert (Now T.P Mazembe) by 2-1 at their own backyard.

The Game

Abukari put Kotoko ahead in the 12th min, before left  winger Tshinabu put Englebert on level pegging in the 19th min.

Malik Jabir restored Asante Kotoko’s lead in the 80th minute, but just after Kotoko had finished celebrating their goal then the referee gave a penalty to the home team but Tshinabu, blew it over the bar to give Kotoko a sigh of relieve.

Asante Kotoko ’s talented goalkeeper, Robert Mensah was the reigning Africa’s best goalkeeper.

He frustrated the home team with some great goalkeeping heroics as strikers of the home team who in prime positions failed to beat him in post.

The starting line-up of Asante Kotoko ‘s Squad was Robert Mensah, Ben Kusi, Oliver Acquah, Odame, Brenya/ Bobie Ansah, Ibrahim Sunday, Sule, Yaw Sam,Abukari, Malik and Osumanu, Abukari Gariba, Malik Jabir.

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