Kumasi Asante Kotoko brought back their ‘kum apem a, apem be ba’ spirit with a late equaliser against Sudanese side Al Hilal but blew away a chance to qualify for the quarterfinal stage of the ongoing CAF Confederation Cup after drawing 1-1 at home at the penultimate stage of the competition at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi on Sunday.
The Ghanaians now have a difficult task of beating Zambian side, ZESCO, in Lusaka for a possible place in the last four of the competition.
That will even be contingent on the outcome of the Hilal-Nkana game.
Surprised packaged of Group C, Nakana FC, thrashed fellow Zambian side, ZESCO 3-0 putting Kotoko in a better position to jump to the summit but it was not to be.
Waleed Bakhet Hamid ‘s 32nd-minute close-range header from a cross gave Al Hilal a lead for the team from the war-ravaraged country having won the first leg at home by a lone goal.
Indeed, a victory for Kotoko would have qualified Kotoko to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2004 when they lost to archrivals, Accra Hearts of Oak, in the final.
The draw, notwithstanding, Kotoko knew they had themselves to blame having blown away major opportunities that could have changed the narratives at the Baba Yara Stadium.
Nothing indeed, appeared to be working for Kotoko by the 74th minute as the scorer, Hamid nearly made two for Al Hilal but his thunderbolt was parried over the bar by goalkeeper Felix Annam.
The Centreline fans of Kotoko went wield, throwing missiles onto the pitch to register their protest over Referee Bamlak Tessema Weyesa refusal to award a penalty to Gyamfi who was brought down in the box in the 84th minute.
And a minute later, Yacouba headed home an equaliser to send the fans into a frenzy mood.