From calamity and bloodshed to CAF confederation cup final: one of world football’s greatest comeback

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Sports and football in particular have so far seen numerous comebacks, be it the redemption of a footballer’s career, a comeback in a football match/competition or a comeback by a football club in a particular period of time.

Then Barcelona’s champions league comeback against PSG comes to mind, Liverpool’s comeback against Barcelona etc. but there’s one that doesn’t come to the mind of many football fans, especially one who isn’t acquainted with Africa and Ghana football.

On Wednesday, 9th May 2001. Ghana was hit with one of the worst Stadium disasters ever in world football. The ghastly incident tragically ended the lives of 127 football fans and left lots badly injured. It was a painful day in the history of Ghana, Africa and global football.

The incident was an impediment on Ghana football. To just everyone, it was assumed and meant that Ghana football was going to take time to get back to it feet, but what was assumed wasn’t what happened.

Things changed within a short time. What wasn’t thought unfolded. The unprecedented happened. Ghana football got back to it feet within the shortest possible time. The country pulled off one of the greatest comebacks football has ever seen.

Just less than 3 years after the gruesomely stadium disaster, the country saw two of it biggest teams, Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko play in the final of the maiden edition of the Caf confederation cup in 2004. The Phobians emerged victorious on penalties (8-7).

The tie after either legs ended 1-1 and 2-2 on aggregate, but even before this happened. Asante Kotoko in 2002 played in the African Cup winners’ cup final against Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca. Asante Kotoko unlucky lost the final on away goal rule after a 2-2 aggregate scoreline.

These incidents may be a bitter one for Asante Kotoko fans to remember, but it still turns out to be a win for Ghana football.

Indeed, there has been myriad of comebacks in football and this comeback isn’t recognized by many football fans around the globe, but it is surely up there with the best of football comebacks. One that sets a new standard for what is possible in terms of football’s great comebacks in all fronts.

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