Ghana international winger Ernest Asante came off the bench to help his team Athletic Club Omonia Nicosia beat Red Star Belgrade 4-2 on penalties to reach the play-off round of this season’s UEFA Champions League.
The game – which was played at the GSP Stadium in the Cyprus city of Nicosia – ended 1-1 after extra time as Asante was introduced in the 118th minute by manager Henning Berg.
Omonia – one of Cyprus most successful football clubs – scored first through Luftner Michael at the half hour mark but Red Star Belgrade of Richmond Boakye Yiadom – who did not form part of Dejan Stankovic’s squad for this encounter-equalized before the break as Mirko Ivanic was assisted by Comorian striker El Fardou Ben.
Ernest Asante – who made his senior Ghana debut in March 2019 in an AFCON qualifying match against Kenya – was selected to be one of the first five shooters of Omonia during the shootouts and the Ghanaian did not disappoint as he successfully converted his kick to put his side 3-2 up.
Omonia went on to win the penalty contests by 4-2 following the heroics of Brazilian goalkeeper Fabiano who saved two of the four Red Star kicks.
The team of Asante will now face Greek giants Olympiacos in the play-off round as they seek to defy odds to reach the Champions League group stages.