Asante Kotoko's hopes of reaching the CAF Confederation Cup knockout stages were dealt a blow as they drew 1-1 with Al Hilal in Kumasi on Sunday.
The Porcupine Warriors headed into the game with high hopes, knowing a win will seal qualification after Nkana beat Zesco United 3-0, but were ultimately frustrated by their Sudanese opponents.
Al Hilal after a dominant spell of possession took the lead in the 33rd minute when Waleed Hamid headed home after being left completely unmarked in the box.
A victory for Charles Akonnor's would have seen them pick a quarter finals tickets but the home side had to claw back to pick a point with a late striker from striker Songne Yacouba after Waleed Hamid broke the deadlock on the 33rd minute.
“Throughout the week, we weren’t ourselves. Honestly I don’t know what happened but Conte (Bonsu) who has been the been the engine of the team wasn’t himself today," he said after the game.
“We really suffered in the game. It felt like a defeat. Now we have to go to Zambia and win."
“No Coach would be happy with the results. We kept losing key players in the team. Sometimes it is difficult.
“We have to go to Zambia and win whatever the situation. Those who are injured are injured. We have to make do without them,” he added in a frustrated voice.
Kotoko have seven points and lie third in group C after five games. Nkana top the table with nine points followed by Hilal with eight points.
The draw means Kotoko must win their last group game in Zambia against Zesco. Whatever happens between Al Hilal and Nkana matters not, the Kumasi giants simply need a win.