Tuesday Sep 21, 2021. 15:00
Hearts of Oak captain Fatawu Mohammed has expressed his confidence that the Ghanaian team can overcome Wydad Casablanca in the next round of preliminary action in the CAF Champions League.
The Ghana Premier League champs earned their spot in the second qualifying round thanks to a 2-0 win over Guinea’s CI Kamsar in Accra this past weekend. The tie was reduced to just one leg due to the recent coup d’etat in Guinea.
Goals from Kofi Kordzi and Salim Adams secured victory for the Phobians, who will next face Moroccan heavyweights Wydad over two legs on 15-16 and 22-23 October, with the aggregate winners securing a place in the lucrative group stage of the competition. The losers will ‘drop’ into the playoff round of the CAF Confederation Cup.
WAC will present a stern test for Hearts, with the Botola Pro side one of the most consistent performers in the Champions League in recent years.
The Red Castle were runners-up in 2016, champions in 2017, quarterfinalists in 2018, runners-up again in 2019 and semifinalists in the past two editions of the competition.
Despite this impressive pedigree, Mohammed is confident that Hearts of Oak can upset Wydad next month.
“I’m very confident we will overcome them. We are very determined,” he told Accra-based Asempa FM, as quoted by Football Ghana.
“They are a big club, same as Hearts of Oak, but we believe in the players we have.
“Wydad will be coming into the game with a bit of fear because we are champions in Ghana but at the end of the day, we will qualify after the game,” he concluded.
This season is Hearts’ first participation in the CAFCL since 2008 (they opted out of a possible appearance in 2010 due to financial constraints) and they are hoping to qualify for the group stage for the first time since 2006.