first_imgLast two seasons, it was Algerian side JSM Bejaia. This time, it’s another Algerian side.Kotoko have crashed out of the Caf Champions League after a 2-1 defeat to El Eulma on Sunday.Just as Hearts went away to win in Senegal on Saturday to put Ghana in the next stage of African competition, Algeria will register a tick in the next round after their league side fought from a goal down to get a great result.Kotoko were counting on Eulma’s recent poor form of one point from their previous four games to go in their favour. What they got was another stat they may not have known: since 2004, the Algerians have never lost four games on the bounce.This game in Kumasi was coming after three straight losses in the Algerian league.There were VIPs in the stands, none bigger – from the point of view of impressionable Fabulous faithful – than Black Stars boss Avram Grant. First halfKotoko’s Kumasi home was painted red, and from the onset it seemed good things would happen – after defender Khaled Bouzama went of for Mokhtar Belhkiter through an injury.This was after just 12 minutes.And the stadium was jumping when striker Obed Owusu got the opener with five minutes to finish the first half largely through miscommunication between goalkeeper Mohammed Ouserir and his backline.It could have been more, if not for the dogged defending from their opposing defenders and . Eulma were however forced into an early change after just 11 minutes when defender Khaled Bouzama had to be replaced by Mokhtar Belhkiter after picking up an injury.At half time, the Ghanaian champions had one leg in the next round. But it was to be a sorry second half.Second halfBefore this game, Kotoko may have known that they had failed to beat an Algerian team in 360 minutes of football – the last time was a 3-1 win against JS Kabylie in 2008.At the start of the second half, Kotoko raced into action suggesting that they wanted this wrong, righted. Ahmed Toure hit a piledriver but Ouserir was on hand to save smartly. The Algerians were getting into the game and David Duncan wanted to switch play to bring his side back into it. In came Emmanuel Asante, out went Dauda Mohammed in a like for like swap.Another sub saw Frank Sarfo Gyamfi on for the heaving Richard Mpong.But the stadium was tetchy because their defense was not looking solid. And sure enough, Eulma’s pushing yielded fruit with a fine goal just after the hour mark. It was Darradja credited with it.The rest of the game was a harrowing time for all Kotoko stakeholders as Eulma players went down at the least opportunity. The time wasting tactic gnawed at the Reds’ resolve and unsettled them.A key point came after 75 minutes when Kotoko’s baying for a penalty for Sarfo Gyamfi – who went down in opposition territory – was ignored. Two things happened moments after. First, Gyamfi came close to scoring with 90 minutes imminent but he missed by a whisker.The second was more deadly, as with six minutes added, Eulma buried the tie.Game. Set. Match.*Line-ups: Kotoko: Ofori Antwi – Christopher Bonney, Amos Frimpong, Abeiku Ainooson, Eric Donkor – Owusu Jackson, Michael Akuffo/68’ Kojo Poku, Richard Mpong/54’ Frank Sarfo-Gyamfi, Emmanuel Asante/46’ Dauda Mohammed – Obed Owusu, Ahmed ToureEulma: Mohamed Ousserir – Khaled Bouzama/11’ Mokhtar Belkhiter, Adel Naomane, Ismael Beneltayeb, Abelmalek Abbes/77’ Nacer Hammami, Walid Derrardja, Abednego Azougha Tembeng, Adel Maiza, Ibrahim Chenihi/84’ Ahmed Kara, Mohammed Belhadi, Fares Hemitti–Match report: Gary Al-SmithFollow Gary on Twitter: @garyalsmithlast_img read more