Aduana Stars coach Kenichi Yatsuhashi says fitness issues led to their 2-0 home defeat to Asec Mimosas in the penultimate group game of the Caf Confederation Cup played at Dormaa on Sunday.
The Ghanaian champions began the game with an unusual line-up, missing the services of captain Yahaya Mohammed, goalkeeper Joseph Addo, defender Justice Anane and striker Bright Adjei.
Two first half goals from Gbagnon Anicet Badie and Willy Braciano Ta Bi squashed the hosts' ambition of making it out of the group.
"We had many injuries in the team. About three players picked up injuries in our final preparation game against a first division side before playing Asec so that definitely affected us," Kenichi said.
"We all knew the lower-tier side plays rough game so we picked some knocks too. Everybody on the bench was even having some kind of injuries so I had no option than to play Gideon Obeng who is only 14 years of age.
"I don't know whether we're out or not since I've not heard the results of the other game but if we're not qualifying, we will still play the final game with every strength we've got. We need to protect our integrity," he added.
Aduana, aside losing a game for the first time in any Caf inter-club competition, they have also become the second Ghanaian side to lose to Asec at home after Ashanti Gold who lost to the Black and Yellows in 1995.