The Ghanaian giants are a step away from the group phase after losing 1-0 to Djoliba in the second leg of their Caf Confederation Cup second round tie on Sunday
Accra Hearts of Oak recorded their first defeat in the Caf Confederation Cup and became the first Ghanaian side to lose at home to a Malian side since 1967 after Djoliba AC pipped them 1-0 at the Accra Sports Stadium on Sunday in the second round second leg.
However, they have made it through to the next round on the away-goal rule after drawing 2-2 on aggregate.
Coach Herbert Addo made three changes to the side that won 2-1 away a fortnight ago.
Gilbert Fiamenyo and Paul Acquah were on target in the first leg, and their goals were enough to see the 2004 champions through to the next stage of the competition.
Captain Robin Gnagne was missed after seeing red, while Isaac Oduro was suspended for accumulated yellow cards. However, right-back Owusu Bempah was away with the Ghana National U20 side preparing for the World Youth Championship in New Zealand.
The visitors came close to reducing the deficit and further but a powerful shot and header by Diarra Moussa Sissoko failed to find the target, as both sides went for the break, with the Phobians’ 2-1 lead still intact.
Djoliba returned with unflinching determination, pressing forth to get back into the game but they were always wasteful until Cheiduba Ndiaye powerfully slotted the ball past goalkeeper Abdoulaye Soulama in the 83rd minute.
The visitors threw men forward and mounted pressure on the Hearts’ defence to find the precious second goal to send them through but Shaun October and Vincent Atinga stood firm.
Prior to the game, Hearts were yet to lose a match in the competition after edging past Togolese side A.S Police in the preliminary stage before progressing to the round of eight on a 3-2 aggregate over Senegalese representatives Olympique de Ngor.
The Phobians were handed the opportunity to represent the West African country after Kotoko pipped Inter Allies to win the FA Cup, but with Kotoko already qualified for the Champions League after winning the local league, a lack of financial muscled prevented the smaller side from taking part in the competition.
They are the only surviving Ghanaian team in continental competition after Kotoko were eliminated by Algerian side MC Eulma in the Caf Champions League last month.
Hearts will now compete with eight clubs who were eliminated from the Champions League including giants like Al Ahli, Esperance and AC Leopards for a place in the last eight.