Ghana Premier League champions, Hearts of Oak bowed out of the CAF Champions League in shambolic fashion, losing to Wydad Athletic Club 6-2 on aggregate.

Having won the first leg clash in Accra, the Rainbow club were hopeful of remaining competitive in Casablanca but were on the receiving end of a drubbing as they conceded six goals in the return fixture.

The outcome of the game sees Samuel Boadu’s men miss out on a chance to represent Ghana in the Champions League group stages this season, dropping to the CAF Confederation Cup.

While the result in Morocco highlights Hearts’ mishaps, it also justified claims that Ghana’s Premier League clubs are far from ready for continental dominance.

In recent times, Asante Kotoko has had the opportunity to play in the continental showpiece but the preliminary round has been the closest the club has got in that time.

The last time the country had a team play in the group stages of the Champions League was in 2012, when league winners Berekum Chelsea got into that stage.

The Berekum-based side managed nine points from six group games but failed to qualify for the knockout stage of the competition.

Since then, no Ghanaian club has qualified for ‘money zone’ of the Champions League with several attempts coming in.

Winning the Premier League for the first time after quite a long time, Hearts were seen as one of the brightest spots to reclaim Ghana’s place in African football.

The Rainbow club had massive backing from football fanatics in the country and the additions made to the team proved they were willing to compete on the continent.

Having beaten CI Kamsar to progress to the next stage of the preliminary round and set up a clash with Wydad, Hearts definitely knew the threat the North African side possesses going into the fixture.

Ghana’s champions took a slim advantage in the first game in Accra but that proved not enough as they fell heavily to the Moroccans.

Hearts were far from their very best and failed to emulate their form in recent times.

In one of his interviews after winning the league, Boadu stressed that his side had the quality to match some of the best teams in Africa but that was not the case in Sunday night’s clash.

That is one area teams in Ghana will have to pay attention to if they are to get the recognition they deserve in Africa.

The clubs need to channel their investment in improving their squad every now and then and that would mean challenging for some of the best that can add value to the team.

While that motive is out of question this season, it will be something the heavyweights in the Ghana Premier League will have to work on in order to exceed expectations on the continent.



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