Asante Kotoko’s African campaign has been brought to an end following a 2-0 away defeat to Ivorian side San Pedro in the Caf Confederation Cup on Sunday.
Goals from Cheick Soumaro and Amede Diomande handed the home side victory in the play-off round second leg fixture at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.
With the first leg in Kumasi ending in a slim 1-0 victory for Kotoko, San Pedro progress to the group stage of the competition on a 2-1 aggregate score.
The Porcupines Warriors have failed in their bid to successively reach the ‘money zone’ following last season’s feat.
Kotoko coach Kjetil Zachariassen rang three changes to his line-up of the first leg for Sunday’s return encounter.
Centre-back Wahab Adams and attacker Kelvin Andoh were preferred to Stephen Ayiku Tetteh and Songne Yacouba, while Alex Didi Arnorld and Samuel Frimpong were chosen ahead of Augustine Okrah and Emmanuel Gyamfi.
Despite the shake-up, it did not take much for the Porcupines to be breached as San Pedro took the lead through a Soumaro free-kick in just the third minute of the game.
In the 20th minute, the home side almost made it 2-0 but for a great save by Kotoko goalkeeper and captain Felix Annan.
San Pedro eventually registered the second goal late in the game as substitute Diomande netted a 98th-minute effort.
That was not the end of Kotoko’s misery. In the second minute of injury time, defender Emmanuel Agyemang Badu was sent off for a second bookable offence, reducing the side to 10 men.
The home side’s late numerical advantage had little effect on the game as the referee shortly after whistled to confirm a 2-0 triumph.
Kotoko began this season’s African campaign in the Caf Champions League where a first round loss to Etoile Sahel of Tunisia forced a demotion to the second-tier Confederation Cup championship.