Asante Kotoko's dreams of making the quarter-finals of the Caf Confederation Cup ended on Sunday following a 2-1 away loss to Zambia's Zesco United on the final matchday of the group stage.
Substitute Stephen Nyarko scored for the Porcupine Warriors but goals from Jesse Jackson and Clement Mwape earned three points for the hosts at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.
Third in Group C, four and two points behind leaders Al-Hilal Omdurman of Sudan and Zesco United of Zambia respectively, CK Akonnor's outfit have fallen short of picking one of two qualification slots available.
Zesco, despite the win, finished bottom of the group.
Akonnor went for a 4-1-2-3 system on the day, with debutant Ivorian striker Dany Zabo Teguy leading the attack in the place of suspended Burkinabe Songne Yacouba.
Habib Mohammed, another January signing, was the other new face in the line-up, taking a place just in front of the back four.
It was a goalless first-half as both teams failed to convert their chances.
In the fifth minute, Zabo Teguy saw his goal-bound header saved by Zesco goalkeeper Jacob Banda before the rebound was cleared off the goal line.
The hosts went close to breaking the deadlock in the 27th minute as Quadri Aladeokun's shot rattled the upright before Kotoko goalkeeper Felix Annan palmed out the rebound.
Then, Jesse Were went knocking again after latching on to Kondwani Mtonga's in-swinger but his shot flashed wide.
Five minutes to the break, Emmanuel Gyamfi had Kotoko's best chance of the half but the winger drove his shot from inside the penalty box over the bar, much to the disappointment of the Kotoko faithful.
Just a minute after the interval, the Porcupine Warriors took the lead through substitute Stephen Nyarko, who, following a good Emmanuel Gyamfi run down the flank, headed in a rebound to make it 1-0 after his first attempt was saved.
Moments after Kotoko saw a second goal shout ignored by the referee for the ball not having crossed the goal-line, Zesco scored to make it 1-1 through a Were tap-in.
Three minutes later, the hosts went in front for the first time as Clement Mwape planted the ball at the back of the net after Kotoko failed to defend a free-kick.
The Porcupines tried all they could to fetch an equaliser and snatch a possible winner, but their efforts proved tame as the hosts held on to claim a 2-1 win.