Dreams FC are dreaming of glory in Africa and don’t plan on stopping soon

Dreams FC are dreaming of glory in Africa and don’t plan on stopping soon
Dreams FC celebrate with Rivers United after both teams qualified from their CAF Confederation Cup group
Dreams FC celebrate with Rivers United after both teams qualified from their CAF Confederation Cup group
A true Ghanaian football fairytale is unfolding before everyone’s eyes. Dreams FC, the club founded just 14 years ago in Dawu, is on the cusp of achieving the unthinkable - reaching the semi-finals of the CAF Confederation Cup after beating Stade Malien 2-1 in Mali in the first leg of the quarter-finals.

In a season where Ghanaian football has faced its fair share of challenges, an unexpected hero has emerged on the continental stage. Dreams, the lone torchbearer for the West African nation in CAF inter-club competitions, has defied all odds to blaze an incredible trail in their maiden appearance in the CAF Confederation Cup.

This remarkable achievement marks the first time in two decades that a Ghanaian club has advanced to the knockout stages of a major CAF competition, sending shockwaves through African football and igniting hopes of an unprecedented triumph.

Their performances in Africa's second-tier club competition have been inspirational. Match after match, the Dawu-based side has punched above its weight, slaying giants and turning dreams into reality.

Dreams’ meteoric rise on the continental stage is a true underdog story. Established in 2009, the club had to claw its way up from the country's third tier to earn their place in the top flight in the 2015/16 season.

While their journey in domestic football has yielded just one major trophy - the Ghana FA Cup - Dreams' exploits in the Confederation Cup have captured the hearts and minds of Ghanaians yearning for a feel-good story amid the uproar of recent controversies.

Their triumph in the domestic cup last season is why the Still Believe Boys are in the continental competition. They had to go past Milo FC and Kallon in the preliminary stage to become the first Ghanaian side to reach the group stages of the CAF Confederation Cup since 2019.

Dreams were given a rude awakening in their first group game losing 2-0 away to Club Africain in their first group game. However, three successive wins against Rivers United and Academica home and away put the Ghanaian club in total control in Group C. 

Ultimately, Dreams did enough to top the group in their debut campaign and book a place in the last eight of the competition.

Dreams topped their group to advance

The feeling in the club is that they can continue to make history. Members of the team are cautiously optimistic and believe the general lack of information on Dreams is playing in their favour. As a surprise package in the competition, the team continues to exceed expectations under the guidance of the experienced Abdul-Karim Zito.

Much of Dreams FC's success can be attributed to the astute leadership of Zito. A seasoned Ghanaian tactician with experience guiding the likes of Asante Kotoko, Accra Hearts of Oak, Feyenoord Academy (WAFA), King Faisal, and Medeama, as well as winning the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with Ghana’s Under-20 team, Zito has molded a supremely competitive unit that has punched above its weight throughout the competition. 

“I take it match by match. I’m in the quarter-finals of the CAF Confederations Cup and the FA Cup. When I get to the semi-finals that’s when I will get a sense of whether we can go for the ultimate. For now, I am working hard to go all out to do what I do best so we get to the last four of both competitions,” he told Flashscore.

On the pitch, Dreams has been a classic model of resolved teamwork, tactical discipline, and boundless reserves of self-belief. One player who embodies the club's culture is Abdul Aziz Issah, who came through the ranks. 

The talismanic presence of the 19-year-old has been at the heart of Dream’s fairytale. He has enchanted viewers with his stellar performances, leading the scoring charts with four goals and two assists in the Confederation Cup.

At such a young age, Issah says: “There is no pressure on me, I am just focusing on playing football. Playing Malien is a very big game and we only focused on getting the result.”

Two away goals against Stade Malien means that Dreams have one foot in the last four of the completion, though general manager of the club Armeenu Shadow is alert to the team not getting ahead of themselves.

Dreams - Stade Malien player ratings

“The result presents a huge psychological challenge. Some teams get good results in the first leg but get complacent and lose. That’s what we are trying to avoid,” he said.

The whole of the Ghana football fraternity will be behind Dreams as Berekum Chelsea head coach Samuel Boadu summarises that a win for them will benefit the country in terms of qualification slots for Africa next season.

“It is my hope Dreams FC wins the CAF Confederation Cup so that we can get additional slots.”

The second leg against Stade Malien will be the biggest match in the history of Dreams. Their fairytale run has captured the hearts and minds of Ghanaians. A nation used to cheering for heavyweight clubs like Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak has embraced the underdogs from Dawu.

Regardless of the result on Sunday, Dreams FC's exploits have galvanized a nation and proven that the incredible is possible through belief, hard work, and the beautiful dream that is football. 

Follow the second leg with Flashscore.

Owuraku Ampofo


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