Keep dreams alive, Dreams FC

Keep dreams alive, Dreams FC

• Abdul Karim Zito – Coach, Dreams FC

 “When you dream, dream big; as big as the ocean blue. When you dream it might come true, when you dream, dream big.”

The above is a refrain of a song titled ‘Dream Big’ sang by Ryan Shupe & the Rubber band.

Evidently, that would be the song on the lips of Dreams FC supporters who are currently on cloud nine following the sterling performance of the club in the CAF Confederation Cup tournament.

John Antwi - Dreams FC
John Antwi – Dreams FC

They were even not given a dog’s chance when they qualified for the championship after emerging winners of the Ghana FA Cup competition.

Ghanaians are noted for not believing much in emerging clubs like Dreams FC. They are used to the traditional dominance of Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko.

Both sides have their rich history as far as participation in the continental club competitions are concerned. Kotoko, founded on August 31, 1935 have won the Ghanaian league for a record 24 times and at a point dominated at the continental level, crowning those moments with two Africa Club Championships trophies (rechristened CAF Champions League) in 1970 and 1983.

The climax of those formidable years was their announcement by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) as the African Club of the Century.

Accra Hearts of Oak pride themselves as the Premier Club of the nation but had to wait till the 2000s after their establishment on November 11, 1911 to be identified with the elites clubs on the continent.

They made it in a grand style; first winning the CAF Champions League in the year 2000 and went on to win the CAF Super Cup in 2001. It was followed by the Confederations Cup victory in 2004.

Solomon Agbasi- Dreams FC

Such was the authority they wield in time past and entertained Ghanaian fans with their beautiful football.

Fans have since been left unconvinced about the abilities of Ashantigold SC, Medeama, Bechem United, Berekum Chelsea and others that have attempted to walk on the path of the traditional giants.

Therefore, having little or no confidence in Dreams FC’s fairytale was something very much expected from the start of the competition. The phrase is like ‘’if it’s not Kotoko or Hearts, then it’s no one.”

But interestingly, Dreams FC is on a path of their own to defy that order, faced with a tricky last hurdle to scale to land in the dream final.

Perhaps, it is their bumpy start that is making some fans believe they are still in a slumber, hoping to wake up to realise it was a dream.

In the first round match of the competition, Dreams FC accounted for Milo FC 3-2 on aggregate after holding them to a 1-1 result in Guinea and beat them 2-1 in Ghana on August 19 and 27, 2023, respectively.

With the rights to play in the second round, Dreams FC faced Sierra Leonean side, Kallon FC and recorded a slim 2-1 victory at home on September 15, 2023.

Many predicted doom for the Ghanaians in the second leg but they prevailed after holding the Sierra Leoneans 1-1 in the return leg on September 30, 2023 to book qualification into the group stage.

That in itself was historic for the club but it did not affect its forward match.

They were paired with Tunisia’s Club Africaine, Nigeria’s Rivers United and Academy Lobito of Angola.

On Sunday, November 26, 2023, Dreams FC kicked the group stage matches off in a whirlwind fashion, pulling a 2-0 victory over Club Africaine away, defeated Rivers United 2-1 at home on December 3, 2023, and suffered the first loss to Lobito (2-3) in Angola on December 10 to end the first round of the group matches.

Ten days later, Wednesday 20, 2023, Dreams recorded its heaviest scoreline in their campaign, registering a 4-0 victory over the Angolans in the second leg in Ghana, pulled a double over Africaine with a 1-0 victory on Sunday, February 25, 2024 and ended on a losing note to Rivers United (2-1) on Sunday, March 3, 2024.

That was enough to qualify them to the quarter final stage where they came face-to-face with Stade Malien on Sunday, March 31, 2024. They upset the Malians with a 2-1 victory but drew 1-1 in the return encounter a week on at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Ghana.

Against Zamalek and their prowess on the continent, Coach Karim Zito’s Dreams FC earned a goalless result in the first leg in Egypt on Sunday, April 21, 2024 with the second leg set for tomorrow at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.

At this stage when it appears Dreams FC have surprised all including themselves, the onus lies on them to prove to all and sundry that the journey so far was no fluke.

The only real advantage they have is the fact that they are playing home and in front of their fans. And since both sides have no goal to their advantage, the tie is still 50-50 and knowing what Zamalek are capable of doing, irrespective of where they play, the pressure would surely be on the Ghanaians to deliver.

Indeed, this is the time to keep dreaming. The dream has been a long one and must not end now because there is nothing wrong about dreaming ‘BIG.’

 By Andrew Nortey

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