Medeama SC, Dreams FC secure group stage spots, $1.1m
Ghanaian champions Medeama SC and Dreams FC celebrated their remarkable achievements last Saturday after both teams secured qualification to the group stage of the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup, respectively, with the promise of a guaranteed $1.1 million participation fee to be shared between the two teams.
Medeama secured qualification to the group stage of Africa's premier inter-club competition on a 4-3 aggregate despite losing 1-2 to Horoya AC of Guinea in the return leg of the second-round qualifiers, thanks to Jonathan Sowah’s goal last Saturday.
The 'Muaves and Yellow' became a Ghanaian side after Berekum Chelsea in the 2012/13 season to make it to the lucrative group stage of the competition where they stand to earn a participation fee of $700,000.
Tarkwa-based Medeama won the first leg 3-1 in Cape Coast a fortnight ago and again needed the heroics of their new darling boy, Sowah, to score the decisive goal after giving his side the lead in the 24th minute through a spot kick. However, the home side fought back strongly as Mandela Ocansey cancelled the lead with a fine finish two minutes later to take the match into halftime at 1-1.
Horoya added the second goal in the 76th minute to give a slim chance but the Ghanaians kept their discipline with strong defending to progress on aggregate.
Medeama began their Champions League journey with a 1-0 win over Nigerian side Remo Stars in Cape Coast and lost the return leg by the same margin but qualified through a tie-breaking penalty shootout.
There was joy for Dreams FC in Monrovia as they held Kallon Stars of Sierra Leone to a 1-1 draw to progress on a 3-2 aggregate.
Agyenim Boateng Mensah gave Dreams FC an early advantage as he converted from the spot in the fourth minute to give the Ghanaians a precious lead until the home side grabbed an equalising goal late into the match but could not save their campaign, having lost 1-2 to Dreams in the first leg match at the Accra Sports Stadium.
By reaching the group stage, Dreams FC also guaranteed for themselves a participation fee of $400,000.
In May 2023, CAF announced the 40 per cent increment in the prize monies of its competition with $4 million up for grabs by the winner of the Champions League, with the runner-up earning $2 million.
Semi-finalists in the Champions League and Confederation Cup will earn prize monies of $1.2 million and $750,000 respectively while quarter-finalists take $900,000 and $550,000 respectively.