ASKO de Kara are the new champions of Togo.

On Sunday, ASKO De Kara beat its city rivals, the Association Sportive de la Kozah (ASCK) to be crowned champions of Togo. It took penalties to decide the encounter after a 1-1 draw.

ASCK had opened the scoring in the 35th minute through Tchatakora Sémiou. It took a late equalizer from ASKO de Kara in the 85th minute to take the match to extra time.

Both teams failed to score in the 30 minutes of extra time, which meant a penalty shootout had to decide the champions.

“I feel very happy because the match is never won in advance”, Tchakei Marouf, captain of ASKO de Kara said.

“The championship was like a marathon, so it was not easy”, an elated Marouf added.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the championship had to be organized in three months instead of nine because of the health crisis. This meant each team played two games a week!

“We have done a lot of COVID tests. We had about twenty positive cases for the whole championship. As of today, we have no more positive cases. It was well managed. The teams behaved very well in terms of COVID prevention” Dr Kouvahey Damien, head of the Medical Commission of the Togolese Football Federation said.

Togo’s Minister of Sports Bessi Kama Lidi commended the organization of the championship. “We saw the players who were vaccinated, who observed the barrier measures from the beginning to the end of this championship. And I say bravo to them” Lidi said.

Togo’s finalists will now prepare for CAF’s biggest club competitions. ASKO de Kara will represent the country in the African Champions League. ASCK will also not go back empty-handed. The runners-up will participate in the Confederation Cup.