On 12TH February, 2001 Accra Hearts of Oak reached its peak, when CNN/World Soccer rated
them the 8th best club in its weekly chart, rubbing shoulders with giants such as Real
This happened a day after the club had beaten Zamalek of Egypt by 2-0 to win the only Super
Cup by a Ghanaian side at the Kumasi Sports Stadium
Below is a list of the top 10 clubs announced by CNN/World Soccer
Rank Team Country Points
(1 As Roma Italy 90pts
(2) Boca Juniors Argentina 89 pts
(3) Real Madrid Spain 83 pts
(4) Manchester Utd England 81pts
(5) Bayern Munich Germany 60 pts
(6) Deportivo La Coruna Spain 53 pts
(7) Vasco da Gama Brazil 48 pts
(8) Hearts of Oak Ghana 26 pts
(9) Arsenal England 25 pts
(10) Lazio Italy 22 pts
The road to this unprecedented feat by a Ghanaian club
The journey to this great feat began in March when Hearts of Oak knocked out Horoya AC of
Guinea 4-3 on aggregate, before piping DC Motema Pembe of DR Congo 4-3 on aggregate in the
second round to reach the CAF Champions’ League group stage/money zone.
They were drawn in group ‘B’ with the likes of Lobi Stars, El Ahly, Jeanne d’Arc.
The Continental Club Masters scored a late minute goal through Emmanuel Donkor in their
maiden champions’ league group game against El Ahly in Accra. The North African giant took
the lead before Hearts of Oak fought from behind to win the game by 2-1.
They matched on with two successive away victories against Jeanne d’Arc in Senegal. A game
Ishmael Addo scored a hat-trick, the first away hat-trick in the competition’s history,
before dismissing Lobi Stars 2-0 in Nigeria, to complete the first round of the group
They started the second half of the group stage by beating Lobi Stars 2-0 in the return
fixture, before settling for a one all in Egypt against Ahly and finished off at home with
a one all against Jeanne d’Arc.
The competition at that time had no room for semi finals, so the winner of group ‘A’
Esperance booked a date with Hearts of Oak the winner of group ‘B’.
The Ghanaian side went unbeaten in the group stage, which was the first time a club, did
Hearts of Oak beat Esperance at their own backyard with 10 men, after Amankwa Mireku was
sent off in the 63rd minute. The Tunisian side drew the first blood in the 36th minute,
before Ishmael Addo and Osei Kuffour’s 52nd and 79th minute goals respectively overturned
the score line in favour of the Phobians.
The 2nd leg was played on 17th December, 2000
Hassen Gabsi’s 12 minute goal shook the Accra Sports Stadium, but three late goals from the
feet of Osei Kuffour, who scored two goals in the 83rd and 89th minutes and Ishmael Addo in
the 90th minute won the Champions League for the Phobians. The game was almost marred by
the teargas incident and Chokri El Ouaer’s drama, which eventually led to a year ban for
Hearts of Oak at the Accra Sports Stadium for continental assignments and a ban for the
Tunisian goalkeeper for causing injury to himself.
Hearts of Oak therefore became the true Continental Club Masters, a term coined by Tommy
Thompson, the chairman for Hearts of Oak in the 70’s. He did that to propel the club in
winning the Champion’ Cup, unfortunately they lost in their two finals, 1977 and 1979 under
his watch, but it was on this day that his vision came to pass.
Hearts of Oak’s team for the first leg: 1-Sammy Adjei; 6-Yaw Amankwah Mireku, 5-Jacob
Nettey, 15-Agyeman Duah; 17-Stephen Tetteh, 14-Joe Ansah, 12-Charles Allotey (2-Daniel Ziem
Quaye 76), 9-Adjah Tetteh, 3-Emmanuel Osei Kuffour,18-Ishmael Addo (10-Emmanuel Adjogu
59),8-Charles Taylor (4-Edmund Copson 71)]
The Hearts’ squad for the second leg: 1-Sammy Adjei; 6-Dan Quaye, 5-Jacob Nettey, 15-Edward
Agyeman-Duah, 17-Stephen Tetteh, 14-Joe Ansah, 12-Charles Allotey (10-Emmanuel Adjogu 46),
9-Adjah Tetteh (4-Edmond Copson 67), 18-Ishmael Addo, 3-Emmanuel Osei Kuffour, 8-Charles
Taylor (13-Osmanu Amadu 73)
Emmanuel Osei Kuffour emerged as the top scorer in the Champion’s League.