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Wydad boss targets FIFA Club World Cup final – 2017 CAF Champions League

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Wydad boss targets FIFA Club World Cup final

Wydad Casablanca coach Hussein Amoutta

by
Bertin Basson

Friday Nov 24, 2017. 15:00


Wydad Casablanca head coach Lhoussaine Ammouta has expressed his club’s desire to reach the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup final.

The CAF Champions League holders qualified for the world showpiece for the very first time following victory of Al Ahly – on aggregate – in the final of Africa’s premier cup competition.

Ammouta now hopes that his troops can set up a meeting with Real Madrid in a fight for silverware at the upcoming tournament, set to be hosted in the United Arab Emirates starting early next month.

CAF RELEASE NEW AFCON QUALIFIER DATES DUE TO FIFA WORLD CUP

“We’re targeting the final,” Ammouta told FIFA.com.

“We can’t afford to make too many mistakes because the minor details make all the difference in football. Our players acquired lots of experience in the Champions League and now hope to sign for clubs abroad.

“They [the Wydad players] can show what they’re capable of in this competition and catch the eye of the big European teams. Their desire to progress ought to help us get good results in the Emirates.”

The Moroccan club kick-off their campaign with a clash against CONCACAF champions Pachuca on the 9th of December in Abu Dhabi.

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Al Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry: We were better than Wydad Casablanca

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by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Nov 06, 2017. 20:00


Al Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry said Wydad Casablanca did not deserve to win the CAF Champions League on Saturday night.

El-Badry believes his players were more powerful and dangerous than Wydad’s, despite the 1-0 loss to the Moroccan side in the second-leg of the final.

The outspoken coach has blamed the referee for the loss, saying the Moroccans scored from an obvious offside.

After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, a solitary goal through Walid El-Karti’s header ensured the Moroccans lifted the continental trophy 2-1 on aggregate.

“Wydad are entitled champions, but not by the performance. They scored from an obvious offside while the referee deprived us of two well-deserved penalties,” said the 56-year-old tactician.

“I warned before of refereeing mistakes and we suffered from it in the two legs of the final, but it seems that nobody cares about African refereeing.

“It’s very sad that African tournaments are being won by referees.”

In the wake of the win, Wydad will now play in the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi next month and will represent the African continent.

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Al Ahly president to protest following Champions League final loss to Wydad

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Al Ahly president to protest following Champions League final loss to Wydad

Al Ahly’s player Saad Samir (L) in action against Wydad Casablanca’s player Ismail Haddad (R)

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Nov 06, 2017. 16:30


Following their CAF Champions League loss to Wydad Casablanca, Al Ahly president Mahmoud Taher revealed that his club will file a complaint about the CAF referee, Bakary Gassama.

The Club of the Century suffered a 2-1 loss to Wydad on aggregate as they failed to fly back to Egypt with the most prestigious continental accolade.

Following the defeat in Morocco, Taher says Gassama made a number of mistakes in the match and they will approach CAF regarding this issue.

“We have a number of motives to file a complaint because of what happened in the final match,” Mahmoud Taher told the club’s official website.

MAHMOUD ABDEL-RAZIK GETS FIRST EGYPT CALL-UP SINCE 2014

“The referee made huge mistakes whether through taking wrong decisions or because of not adding enough stoppage time after smoke emerged in the pitch and blocked view which forced him to stop the match for a few minutes.”

Taher added that Gassama did not take the smoke on the pitch, caused by Wydad fans, into consideration when adding only three minutes of stoppage time and that he didn’t care about complaints made about the smoke from Al Ahly players.

“We faced clear and obvious challenges in our recent African matches from referees which made it look like Al Ahly facing a team and a referee each match, something that we should not stay silent about anymore,” he added.

“That’s why the club is obliged to submit this complaint that includes all the needed documents and pictures that strengths our position.”

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Wydad Casablanca claim Champions League crown

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Wydad Casablanca claim Champions League crown

Al Ahly’s player Saad Samir (L) in action against Wydad Casablanca’s player Ismail Haddad (R)

by
Graeme Jackson

Sunday Nov 05, 2017. 00:02


Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca beat Egyptian giants Al Ahly 1-0 at the Stade Mohamed V Stadium on Saturday night to claim the 2017 CAF Champions League title.

Wydad won the final 2-1 on aggregate, with the first leg in Alexandria last weekend ending in a 1-1 draw. This match in Casablanca was decided by a goal from Walid El Karti midway through the second half, with the hosts side claiming just their second African crown and a first since 1992.

Al Ahly looked the more dangerous side in the opening 20 minutes and had a good chance fairly early on through Abdallah El-Said, who cut inside from the right and tested Zouhair Laaroubi with an awkward shot.

Wydad struggled to put attacking moves together, but they almost claimed the lead against the run of play in the 30th minute, with forward Abdeladim Khadrouf seeing his shot deflect off a defender and crash into the crossbar.

Ahly had a great chance of their own a couple of minutes later when they sprang away on a counter attack which handed Moemen Zakareya a one-on-one opportuity, but he was denied by a fine save from Laaroubi.

The Egyptian side continued to look strong in the second stanza, with Wydad happy to sit back and look to hit on the counter attack. The risky approach from the hosts paid dividends just past the midway point of the half.

Achraf Bencharki, who scored the away goal in the first leg, turned provider this time around as his deflected cross from the right fell perfectly for Walid El Karti, who powered home a header to put his side 1-0 up on the night and 2-1 on aggregate.

Wydad were in full control of the game from that moment onward, and nearly doubled their advantage on the night when the excellent Bencharki teed up Khadrouf, but he was denied by a fine save.

Wydad Casablanca (0) 1 (El Karti 69’) – Wydad won 2-1 on aggregate

Al Ahly 0

Wydad: Zouhair Laaroubi, Youssef Rabeh, Amine Atouchi, Abdellatif Noussir, Salaheddine Saidi, Walid El Karti, Brahim Nakach, Badr Gaddarine, Achraf Bencharki, Ismail El Haddad (Mouhamed Ouattara 90+3’), Abdeladim Khadrouf (Zakaria El Hachimi 86’)

Ahly: Sherif Ekramy, Mohamed Hani, Saad Samir, Rami Rabia, Hussein El-Sayed (Walid Soliman 77’), Amr El-Sulaya, Ahmed Fathi (Emad Moteab 72’), Moemen Zakareya, Abdallah El-Said, Junior Ajayi, Walid Azaro (Ahmed Hamoudi 61’)

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2017 CAF Champions League: Wydad Casablanca 1-0 Al Ahly – As it happened – 2017 CAF Champions League

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by
Graeme Jackson

Saturday Nov 04, 2017. 23:50


Welcome to coverage of the 2017 CAF Champions League final, second-leg match between Wydad Casablanca and Al Ahly from the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca.

Commentary:
All times CAT

90+5′ – Full time – Done and dusted, Wydad Casablanca are the new kings of Africa! They won 1-0 on the night and 2-1 on aggregate to claim their second CAF Champions League title!

90+3′ – Substitution – El Haddad makes way for Mouhamed Ouattara.

90+1′ – There will be three minutes of added time.

89′ – Great work from Bencharki to spring the offside trap and earn his side a corner kick. Wydad are just trying to run down the clock now.

87′ – Zakareya with a great attacking chance for Ahly, but he shoots into the side netting when his teammates were crying out for a square pass across the box…

86′ – Substitution – Zakaria El Hachimi replaces Khadrouf.

85′ – Ahly have five minutes to find a goal and send the final to penalties…

84′ – A brave block to close down Said as he looks to fire in a shot, but the offside flag is up anyway.

83′ – Yellow card – Khadrouf booked for time wasting.

80’ – Bencharki free down the right again, he squares for Khadrouf, who is denied by a brave save from Ekramy!

77 – Yellow card – El Sulaya booked for a clumsy challenge on El Haddad.

77’ – Substitution – Walid Soliman replaces El-Sayed.

76’ – Zakareya shoots from long range, but it’s high and wide.

74’ – A pushing match breaks out on the far side of the field… emotions running high in Casablanca.

72’ – Substitution – Another change for Ahly as Emad Moteab replaces Fathi.

70’ – Wydad now lead 2-1 on aggregate. It doesn’t really change things for Al Ahly – they needed to score a goal before, and it’s still the case.

69’ – GOAL! Wydad 1-0 Al Ahly – Bencharki with great work down the right, his deflected cross is met by a great header from El Karti to find the back of the net!

67’ – Yellow card – Zakareya booked for simulation.

64’ – Wydad look to have pace on the counter attack, but they’re playing a dangerous game by sitting back like this.

61′ – Substitution – Ahmed Hamoudi replaces Azaro in Ahly’s first change.

60′ – Rabeh with a great defensive clearance from an Al Ahly corner kick. The Egyptian side is dominating at the moment.

57′ – Fathi with a good ball into the box, Azaro pulls it back from the by-line, but it doesn’t quite come together for Ahly.

54′ – El Sayed clears from central defence as Wydad push forward. Plenty of cut and thrust, this game just needs a goal to really ignite it.

51′ – Strong play from Ajayi to win a free kick in the middle of the park. Ahly will need that running power to penetrate Wydad’s defence.

49′ – In fact the referee has paused the game while we wait for the worst of the smoke to clear…

48′ – Plenty of smoke from the flares in the crowd drifting across the field. Shouldn’t affect the players too much.

46′ – Back underway in the second half, no changes from either team at the break.

45+1′ – Half time – Goalless at the break, Wydad are halfway to their second CAF Champions League title as things stand, but you get the feeling there’s drama in store in the second stanza.

45′ – There will be one minute of added time.

43′ – Closing in on half time, Wydad will be happy with proceedings so far but the tie remains on a knife edge.

40′ – Fathi floats a free kick into the Wydad box, but it passes through for a goal kick to the hosts.

39′ – Yellow cards – Both Ahly’s Fathi and Wydad’s Rabeh are booked in quick succession.

35′ – At the other end it’s El Haddad with a low shot which skids just wide of Ekramy’s left-hand post!

34′ – Al Ahly hit through the middle on a quick counter, Zakareya has a one-on-one chance but sees his effort well saved by Laaroubi!

30′ – Wydad on the  counter attack and Khadrouf sees his deflected shot rebound off the crossbar! The hosts’ first real attacking highlight.

29′ – From a free kick to a corner kick for the visitors, but Wydad defend well.

28′ – Azaro earns a free kick out on the left flank, Al Ahly are making all the running now.

26′ – Said with an in-swinging cross from the left, but it’s easily claimed by goalkeeper Laaroubi.

23′ – Midway through the first half, still goalless on the night and 1-1 on aggregate. It remains in favour of Wydad on the away goals rule.

22′ – Yellow card – Ahly’s Ajayi is booked for repeated fouls.

19′ – Bencharki plays in a low cross from the right by-line, but Wydad have no one in the middle to take advantage.

18′ – Wydad captain Nakach goes down under a challenge and looks a little sore getting to his feet, but he should be fine to continue.

15′ – Ahly’s Said has had a couple of dangerous corner deliveries so far. Set pieces certainly look like an avenue back into the tie for the Egyptian side.

14′ – Wydad defender Atouchi makes a vital challenge as Ahly look to break free down their right flank.

12′ – Zakareya cuts inside from the right and shoots on goal, Laaroubi makes an awkward save and the rebound almost falls for Azaro, who would have had a tap-in! So close for Al Ahly…

10′  – There’s no room to breathe in midfield, both teams closing down space in the engine room very quickly.

8′ – Slick passing from Wydad, but the ball ends up safely in the hands of Ahly goalkeeper Ekramy.

5′ – Azaro looks to get onto a cross from Zakareya and goes down under a challenge, but there’s no real call for a penalty from the referee.

3′ – Al Ahly looking full of intent in the early minutes, as they try to catch out the hosts before the match settles down.

1′ – Kick-off – We are underway in Casablanca! Wydad wear all-white with red trim, while Al Ahly are in all-blue.

21h55 – The players have made their way out onto the pitch at a packed Stade Mohamed V Stadium.

21h45 – A reminder that Wydad are looking to win their second CAF Champions League title and a first since 1992, while Al Ahly are chasing a record-extending ninth African crown, having won their eighth back in 2013.

21h30 – Thirty minutes to kick-off. A reminder that the first leg at the Borg El Arab Stadium outside of Alexandria last weekend ended in a 1-1 draw, giving Wydad the advantage of an away goal.

Here are the line-ups ahead of the match:

Al Ahly: Sherif Ekramy, Mohamed Hani, Saad Samir, Rami Rabia, Hussein El-Sayed, Amr El-Sulaya, Ahmed Fathi, Moemen Zakareya, Abdallah El-Said, Junior Ajayi, Walid Azaro

Wydad: Zouhair Laaroubi, Youssef Rabeh, Amine Atouchi, Abdellatif Noussir, Salaheddine Saidi, Walid El Karti, Brahim Nakach, Badr Gaddarine, Achraf Bencharki, Ismail El Haddad, Abdeladim Khadrouf

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Amotta: Wydad will not park the bus

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Amotta: Wydad will not park the bus

Wydad Casablanca coach Hussein Amoutta

by
Staff Reporter

Saturday Nov 04, 2017. 14:00


Wydad Casablanca head coach Houcine Amotta has dismissed any suggestions that the club will sit back and try and defend their advantage in the second-leg of the CAF Champions League final this evening.

The Morocco outfit held their North African counterparts to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture in Egypt last weekend, with the club now in pole position to clinch their second continental crown.

A goalless second-leg at the Stade Mohammed V would give the hosts victory in Casablanca on the away-goal rule, but Amotta will not be “parking the bus”.

YANNICK BOLASIE ITCHING TO BOOST STRUGGLING EVERTON

Wydad are in pursuit of their first CAFCL crown since their 1992 triumph while Al Ahly seek an unprecedented ninth crown.

“Ahly boast one of the best attacks in Africa so it would be suicidal to sit back and defend against them, hoping to win on away goals,” Amotta is quoted as saying by SuperSport.com.

“We must attack because there are flaws in the Ahly defence, while not giving our opponents space to catch us on the counter.

“Wydad achieved a great result in Egypt by holding Ahly, one of the most experienced clubs in the continent.

“But this final is far from decided. I want my players to relax, attack when it is opportune and try very hard to score the first goal,” the the 48-year-old

concluded.

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Wydad Casablanca coach Hussein Amotta to change game plan for Champions League final

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Wydad Casablanca coach Hussein Amotta to change game plan for Champions League final

Wydad Casablanca coach Hussein Amoutta

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Nov 03, 2017. 17:00


Wydad Casablanca coach Hussein Amoutta reveals they will employ a different approach against Al Ahly in the second leg of their CAF Champions League final on Saturday.

The two giants are fresh from a 1-1 draw in the first leg last week in Alexandria where the Egyptians scored through Moamen Zakaria, but Wydad equalised courtesy of Achraf Bencharki.

Whilst Wydad are playing their third final, winning once and losing in 2011, Ahly will be making their 11th appearance at the final after tasting defeat twice in 1983 and 2007.

“We are going to apply a totally different approach,” said Amoutta.

LUC EYAMAEL AND GORDON IGESUND GUNNING FOR THE UGANDA NATIONAL TEAM COACHING JOB

“Of course holding Al Ahly away is a good result, but we have won nothing yet. It’s a totally different match now and we have to prepare well as we’re facing a team with great history and experience.”

The encounter will be staged at the 60,000 capacity venue, Mohamed V Complex in Casablanca and the 48-year old coach will want to be victorious.

Amoutta previously led FUS Rabat to CAF Confederation Cup glory in 2010 and looks poised to add another feat to his career.

The winner will walk away with a cash reward of 2,500,000 US Dollars and a ticket to represent Africa at the FIFA Club World Cup in December in Abu Dhabi.

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Al Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry unfazed by Wydad test in Champions League final – 2017 CAF Champions League

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by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Nov 03, 2017. 12:30


Al Ahly coach Hossam El-Badry insists they have been through tough situations before as they prepare to face Wydad Casablanca in the second leg of their CAF Champions League final on Saturday.

El Badry will want to bag the continental trophy as he also led the Red Devils to glory in 2012 and he remains upbeat ahead of the clash.

The over 60 000 capacity Mohamed V Complex in Casablanca will be the venue for the second leg final after both sides settled for a 1-1 draw last weekend in Alexandria.

MAHMOUD ABDEL-RAZIK GETS FIRST EGYPT CALL-UP SINCE 2014

“We have passed this situation many times in the past. We know what the stakes are,” El Badry told reporters.

“We will give all it takes to win this title, and I’m positive my boys can do it.”

Both sides will be without some key players through injury for the decisive match, with Wydad’s talented winger Mohamed Ounajem having a strained his thigh during the first leg.

On the other hand, Ahly duo of Tunisian left back Ali Maaloul and midfielder Hossam Ashour are also out with groin injuries.

The winner will walk away with a cash reward of 2,500,000 US Dollars and a ticket to represent Africa at the FIFA Club World Cup in December in Abu Dhabi.

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Champions League: Wydad coach Hussein Amotta wants to put pressure on Al Ahly defence

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Champions League: Wydad coach Hussein Amotta wants to put pressure on Al Ahly defence

Wydad Casablanca coach Hussein Amotta

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Oct 31, 2017. 11:30


After playing to a 1-1 draw against Al Ahly in the first leg of the CAF Champions League final on Saturday, Wydad Casablanca coach Hussein Amotta expects a tough second leg clash against the Red Devils.

Amotta said he is planning to turn the tables by putting all the pressure on the Egyptian giants in the return fixture this weekend.

“We achieved a milestone leaving Alexandria with a draw under these circumstances,” said Amotta.

POLOKWANE READY FOR CHIEFS CHALLENGE

“With all these fans, and against one of Africa’s finest most experienced clubs, a draw was a great result.

“It won’t be an easy game, but we will be more relaxed and we will have to work on scoring first this Saturday.

“Al Ahly have one of the best front lines in Africa, so it would be illogical to sit back and defend against them.

“Now that we know the flaws in Al Ahly’s defence, we will put pressure on them from the start. Yet at the same time we need to leave them no space for counter-attacks at the back.”

The return leg will be staged on Saturday, November 4 at Complexe Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca.

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Wydad Casablanca’s captain Ibrahim Nakach says they will frustrate Al Ahly – 2017 CAF Champions League

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Wydad Casablanca's captain Ibrahim Nakach says they will frustrate Al Ahly

epa05444319 Al-Ahly’s Ahmed Fathi (Blue) vies for the ball with Wydad’s Brahim nakach (Red) during their CAF Champions League group A stage football match between Egypt’s Al-Ahly and Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, Morocco, on 27 July 2016. Al-Ahly won 1-0. EPA/ABDELHAK SENNA

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Monday Oct 30, 2017. 15:30


Wydad Casablanca’s captain Ibrahim Nakach says they will continue to cause all sorts of headaches for Al Ahly ahead of the second leg of their CAF Champions League final.

The two North African sides will meet on Saturday in Casablanca to determine this year’s continental winner following a 1-1 draw last weekend.

Nakach said they are training to block the frontline of the Cairo giants in the second leg next Saturday and secure the title.

Ahly failed to take a first-leg home advantage despite their territorial dominance, losing the lead to settle for a 1-1 draw this past Saturday.

“We know Ahly will arrive in Morocco to score, but we are able to handle our home game,” Nakach said.

“We will train well to block Ahly’s efforts to score, and we will score to secure the title. We studied Ahly’s tactics well and we managed to stop their wingers from reaching our goal.

“We will repeat what we achieved here in Egypt when we play the second leg in Morocco.”

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Wydad hold Al Ahly in CCL final first-leg clash

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Wydad hold Al Ahly in CCL final first-leg clash

epa05444318 Al-Ahly’s Moamen Zakaria (L) vies for the ball with Wydad’s Abdellatif Noussir (R) during their CAF Champions League group A stage football match between Egypt’s Al-Ahly and Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, Morocco, on 27 July 2016. EPA/ABDELHAK SENNA

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Oct 28, 2017. 21:10


Al Ahly and Wydad Casablanca drew 1-1 in the 2017 CAF Champions League final first-leg clash at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Egypt on Saturday.

The second-leg encounter will be played at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca next week Saturday.

Egyptian giants Al Ahly applied some pressure on the Moroccan side Wydad’s defence in the opening stages of the match and they scored in the third minute.

Abdalla El Said set up Moamen Zakaria, who fired past Wydad goalkeeper Zouheir Laaroubi to make it 1-0 to Al Ahly.

But the Red Devils fans inside the Borg Al Arab Stadium were silenced in the 16th minute as the visitors equalized.

Achraf Bencharki headed home Mohamed Ounajem’s delightful cross to make it 1-1 for Wydad with the Al Ahly defence exposed.

The momentum was with the Red Devils, who pressed the Kings of Titles with the half-time break fast approaching.

However, Wydad managed to contain Al Ahly and the score was 1-1 at the interval.

Zakaria had a chance to grab his brace from a free-kick 20 minutes into the second-half and restore the hosts’ lead.

However, Laaroubi was alert and he made a comfortable save to deny the hard-working centre forward.

Al Ahly did most of the attacking in the closing stages of the match, but they found it difficult to unlock the Wydad defence.

Veteran striker Emad Moteab was introduced by Al Ahly in the latter stages.

However, Wydad stood firm at the back and the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Al Ahly (1) 1 (Zakaria 3′)

Wydad (1) 1 (Bencharki 16′)

Al Ahly XI: Ekramy; Fathy, Nagiub, Saad, Maaloul, El-Sulaya, Rabia (Hamoudi 78′), Zakaria, Abdallah, Ajayi (Soliman 65′ Moteab 86′), Azarou.

Wydad XI: Laaroubi, Rabeh, Ouattara, Noussir, Saidi, El Karti, Nakach, Gaddarine, Bencharki, Ounajem (Khadrouf 27′), El Haddad (Doa 83′).

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CAF Champhions League: Al Ahly 1-1 Wydad Casablanca – AS IT HAPPENED

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CAF Champhions League: Al Ahly 1-1 Wydad Casablanca - AS IT HAPPENED

Al Ahly’s player John Antwi (L) in action against an Wydad Casablanca player Salaheddine Saidii (R) during the African Champions League (CAF) group stage match between Al Ahly and Asec Mimosas at Borg Al Arab stadium in Alexandria, Egypt, 16 July 2016. EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Oct 28, 2017. 20:51


That’s all from the Borg El Arab Stadium. The second-leg clash will be played in Casablanca, Morocco on the 4th of November 2017

Lineups:

Al Ahly XI: Ekramy; Fathy, Nagiub, Saad, Maaloul, El-Sulaya, Rabia, Zakaria, Abdallah, Ajayi, Azarou.

Wydad XI: Laaroubi, Rabeh, Ouattara, Noussir, Saidi, El Karti, Nakach, Gaddarine, Bencharki, Ounajem, El Haddad.

Commentary:

FULL-TIME: Al Ahly 1-1 Wydad.

90′ – The fourth official has added four minutes.

85′ – Al Ahly sub: Moteab IN, Soliman OUT.

83′ – Wydad sub: Doa IN, El Haddad OUT.

80′ – Al Ahly are still doing most of the attacking, while Wydad are happy to sit back and defend.

78′ – Al Ahly sub: Hamoudi IN, Rabia OUT.

75′ – Al Ahly full-back Maaloul’s dangerous curling cross is cleared away by Wydad defender Noussir.

70′ – Twenty minutes left on the clock for Al Ahly to snatch a late winning goal.

65′ – Al Ahly striker Zakaria’s free-kick is saved by Wydad keeper Laaroubi.

63′ – Al Ahly sub: Soliman IN, Ajayi OUT.

60′ – It is still 1-1 as we reach the hour-mark here in Borg El Arab.

55′ – Al Ahly striker Zakaria’s effort is blocked inside the Wydad box

50′ – End-to-end stuff as Wydad are launching attacks against the hosts, who are looking to restore their lead.

46′ – The second-half is underway.

HALF-TIME: Al Ahly 1-1 Wydad.

45′ – The fourth official has added three minutes.

40′ – Noussir, the Wydad defender, has been solid at the back as we approach the half-time break.

35′ – Pressure is mounting on the Wydad defence as Al Ahly look to regain the lead.

30′ – GOOD SAVE! Wydad goalkeeper Laaroubi comes out to deny Al Ahly striker Azarou from close range.

27′ – Wydad sub: Khadrouf IN, Ounajem OUT.

25′ – Wydad defender Noussir does well to stop Al Ahly striker inside the box.

20′ – Ounajem played a good cross for Bencharki, who scored.

15′ – GOAL! Al Ahly 1-1 Wydad. Benchark restores parity for the visitors.

10′ – Wydad are now pressing Al Ahly in seasrch of the equalizing goal.

5′ – El Said provided an assist for Zakaria’s well taken goal.

3′ – GOAL! Al Ahly 1-0 Wydad. Zakaria gives the hosts the lead with a powerful shot.

1 – The match is underway.

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CAF Champhions League: Al Ahly 1-1 Wydad Casablanca

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CAF Champhions League: Al Ahly 1-1 Wydad Casablanca

Al Ahly’s player John Antwi (L) in action against an Wydad Casablanca player Salaheddine Saidii (R) during the African Champions League (CAF) group stage match between Al Ahly and Asec Mimosas at Borg Al Arab stadium in Alexandria, Egypt, 16 July 2016. EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Oct 28, 2017. 20:05


Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the 2017 CAF Champions League final first-leg clash between Egyptian giants Al Ahly and Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca at the Borg Al Arab Stadium on Saturday.

Lineups:

Al Ahly XI: Ekramy; Fathy, Nagiub, Saad, Maaloul, El-Sulaya, Rabia, Zakaria, Abdallah, Ajayi, Azarou.

Wydad XI: Laaroubi, Rabeh, Ouattara, Noussir, Saidi, El Karti, Nakach, Gaddarine, Bencharki, Ounajem, El Haddad.

Commentary:

46′ – The second-half is underway.

HALF-TIME: Al Ahly 1-1 Wydad.

45′ – The fourth official has added three minutes.

40′ – Noussir, the Wydad defender, has been solid at the back as we approach the half-time break.

35′ – Pressure is mounting on the Wydad defence as Al Ahly look to regain the lead.

30′ – GOOD SAVE! Wydad goalkeeper Laaroubi comes out to deny Al Ahly striker Azarou from close range.

27′ – Wydad sub: Khadrouf IN, Ounajem OUT.

25′ – Wydad defender Noussir does well to stop Al Ahly striker inside the box.

20′ – Ounajem played a good cross for Bencharki, who scored.

15′ – GOAL! Al Ahly 1-1 Wydad. Benchark restores parity for the visitors.

10′ – Wydad are now pressing Al Ahly in seasrch of the equalizing goal.

5′ – El Said provided an assist for Zakaria’s well taken goal.

3′ – GOAL! Al Ahly 1-0 Wydad. Zakaria gives the hosts the lead with a powerful shot.

1 – The match is underway.

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Wydad Casablanca’s Mohammad Ounnajem out to stun Al Ahly in CAF Champions League final – 2017 CAF Champions League

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Wydad Casablanca's Mohammad Ounnajem out to stun Al Ahly in CAF Champions League final

Mohammed Ounnajem (C) of Wydad Casablanca

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Oct 27, 2017. 16:30


Wydad Casablanca’s playmaker Mohammad Ounnajem says they cannot afford to concede in Egypt as they visit Al Ahly for the first leg of their CAF Champions League final.

Ounnajem says their primary target is to do their best and ensure they wrap up the encounter at home next weekend.

I HOPE THERE ARE MORE GOALS TO COME – KELECHI IHEANACHO

Coach Hossam El-Badry’s men are buoyed by an impressive 6-2 thrashing of Tunisia’s Etoile Sportive du Sahel at home in the second leg of the semifinal last weekend.

“We will focus on avoiding a repeat of what happened last year against Zamalek. We will do our best to get a positive result in Alexandria and not leak any goals,” Ounnajem told a Moroccan television channel.

“In the second leg, we will have the advantage of playing before our hugely supportive fans.

“It will not be easy against Ahly; our group stage meetings were very tough.”

The Borg El-Arab Stadium will host the encounter at 19:00 (CAT) on Saturday, October 28.

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Al Ahly, Wydad clash for CAFCL crown

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Al Ahly, Wydad clash for CAFCL crown

Al Ahly’s player Emad Moteab (C) in action against Wydad Casablanca player Youssef Rabeh (R) and Amine Attouchi (L)

by
Bertin Basson

Thursday Oct 26, 2017. 14:30


Al Ahly and Wydad Casablanca will renew their rivalry in the final of the 2017 CAF Champions League this Saturday, with a place atop Africa’s footballing summit up for grabs.

The first-leg will take place at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria. Kick-off is at 19h00 CAT.

Having clashed in the group stages of this year’s competition, the two North African giants will do battle once more – this time in the showpiece of Africa’s premier club competition.

For the victor a place at the 2017 FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates will be secured, alongside the honour of being crowned the continents best.

Al Ahly, who have set their sights on an unmatched ninth CAFCL crown, beat Étoile du Sahel 7-2 on aggregate to seal their place in an 11th final.

The Red Devils lost 2-1 in Sousse, but turned on the style in Egypt to register a 6-2 win. Walid Azaro with a hat-trick for the hosts.

As for Wydad, the Moroccans followed a goalless draw in Algiers with a 3-1 win over USM Alger in Casablanca as they take aim at a second CAFCL crown – having clinched the 1992 showpiece. Achraf Bencharki at the double in the second-leg.

Wydad goalkeeper Zouheir Laaroubi is under no illusion of the task facing his troops this weekend, and hopes that the Moroccan outfit will suffer limited damage in Alexandria.

“The game will be very tough and difficult, everyone knows who Al Ahly are and how difficult the games against them are,” said Laaroubi.

“Al Ahly’s victory against Étoile will motivate us to gather our strength as we prepare for the game, we want to end up with the least possible damage before the second leg in Morocco,” the shot-stopper concluded.

Azaro, who found form at the perfect time for the ‘Club of the Century’, thanked Al Ahly head coach Hossam El Badry for showing him faith, as he now aims to shoot down his fellow countrymen.

“I wanted to score in every match, but was constantly unlucky,” said the Morocco-born forward .”I thank coach Hossam for persevering with me.

“However, we have to forget what we did against ESS and focus on Wydad, who will be difficult opponents to overcome.”

The two teams claimed respective 2-0 wins in their group stage match-ups, with Wydad going on to top Group D.

The reverse fixture at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca is set to take place on Saturday, 4 November 2017.

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Wydad focusing on tactics ahead of crunch Champions League tie – 2017 CAF Champions League

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Wydad focusing on tactics ahead of crunch Champions League tie

Fabrice Nguessi Ondama (R) of Wydad Casablanca

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Oct 21, 2017. 12:00

Ahead of their crunch second leg, semifinal encounter against USM Alger in the CAF Champions League on Saturday night, Wydad Casablanca coach Hussein Amotta has encouraged his troops to remain focused.

Wydad will hope their superb home form in this year’s CAF Champions League can carry them through to their first final since 2011.

Although it will be a challenging encounter, the 1992 champions have won all five of their matches in Morocco this season without conceding a goal.

They face a tough test, though, against the Algerians after the the opening leg ended 0-0.

“My players should focus on the technical, tactical and mental aspects because this is not a match where mistakes can be made,” said Amotta to the BBC.

“So we have to pay attention to certain details. As the match will be in our stadium, we will be supported by our fans but, at the same time, we must show courage in attack while also having a strong defence.”

The match will take place at the Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca at 22:30 (CAT).

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Wydad seeking to dispatch USM Alger and book Champions League final spot

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Wydad seeking to dispatch USM Alger and book Champions League final spot

epa05543424 Zamalek’s Bassem Mrsi (R) in action against Wydad Casablanca player Ayoub Qasmi (L) during the African Champions League (CAF) Semi Final first leg soccer match between Zamalekand Wydad Casablanca at Borg Al Arab stadium in Alexandria, Egypt, 16 September 2016. EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Oct 20, 2017. 16:30


Wydad Casablanca will be gunning to reach the CAF Champions League final when they host USM Alger in the semi-final, second leg on Saturday.

Fresh from a 0-0 draw against the Algerian giants in Algiers, Wydad will want to wrap up the encounter in front of their home crowd.

Coach Hussein Amotta has admitted that the second-leg clash against Alger will be played under heavy pressure at home.

“The game will be under heavy pressure, especially as the opponent will come with the intention of trapping us,” the former Morocco international is quoted by Le Buteur.

“I say it and I repeat it, the draw we snatched in Algiers in the first leg can trap us.

“We must forget it because it can play us a bad turn. So we should not be satisfied with a blank draw.”

Looking at the visitors, Alger will want to upset the hosts and ensure they are victorious away, but it will not be an easy assignment.

Coach Paul Put is already preparing his troops for a tough encounter, especially with the fact that they failed to score at home in the opening leg.

The Belgian manager says Wydad are a good side, but says the return leg could go in their favour as the hosts will want to attack.

He lamented the fact that the Moroccans parked the bus in Algiers, but hopes they will find spaces to exploit to score away on Saturday.

The match will kick-off at 22h30 CAT on Saturday evening.

The winners will advance to the final and face either Al Ahly or Etoile du Sahel.

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Wydad coach Hussein Amotta: Heavy pressure against USM Alger – 2017 CAF Champions League

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Wydad coach Hussein Amotta: Heavy pressure against USM Alger

Chisom Elvis Chikatara (L) of Wydad Casablanca vies for the ball with Maroof Isuf (R) of Zamalek during the African Champions League (CAF) semi-final leg soccer match between Zamalek and Wydad Casablanca at Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, Morocco, 24 September 2016. EPA/ABDELHAK SENNA

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Oct 19, 2017. 10:30


Wydad Casablanca coach Hussein Amotta has admitted that his side’s CAF Champions League semifinal, second-leg clash against USM Alger will be played “under heavy pressure”.

The Moroccans will host USMA at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca on Saturday night, with the first leg in Algiers at the end of September finishing in a goalless stalemate.

This leaves the tie precariously balanced and Amotta, who masterminded Wydad’s defeat of 2016 African champions Mamelodi Sundowns in the previous round, knows it will be a tough evening for both teams.

“The game will be under heavy pressure, especially as the opponent will come with the intention of trapping us,” the former Morocco international is quoted by Le Buteur.

He added, “I say it and I repeat it, the draw we snatched in Algiers in the first leg can trap us.

“We must forget it because it can play us a bad turn. So we should not be satisfied with a blank draw.

“Otherwise we will find ourselves in a difficult situation, especially as the opponent is dangerous on the counters.

“That’s what scares me. That’s why I tell my players not to be content with the outcome of the first leg.”

The match will kick-off at 22h30 CAT on Saturday evening. The winners will advance to the final and face either Al Ahly or Etoile du Sahel.

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Wydad frustrated by USM Alger

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Wydad frustrated by USM Alger

Wydad Athletic Club Mohamed Ounajem

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Sep 29, 2017. 21:16


USM Alger held Wydad Casablanca to a goalless draw in the 2017 CAF Champions League semi-final first-leg match at the Stade du 5 Juillet on Friday night.

Moroccan giants Wydad will host Algerian outfit Alger in the second-leg encounter on 20 October 2017.

The visitors suffered an early scare as Salaheddine Saidi sustained an injury a few minutes into the match.

But the midfielder, who scored an important goal against South African side Mamelodi Sundowns in Morocco last weekend, was able to continue with the game.

Wydad went into the encounter as the favourites, but Alger were able to contain them in the first-half.

As a result, the North African sides were locked at 0-0 during the half-time break.

A relatively quiet second-half followed as Alger and Wydad sides could not find the back of the net.

Ismail El-Haddad, an attack-minded player was introduced by Wydad in the 72nd minute as the visitors searched for the opening goal.

But it was the home side, who dominated in the closing stages of the encounter.

They were unable to beat Wydad goalkeeper Zouhair Laaroubi on the night and the match ended in a 0-0 draw.

Alger (0) 0

Wydad (0) 0

Alger: Zemmamouche, Meftah, Chafai, Abdellaoui, Benmoussa, Benguit, Benkhemassa, Meziane (Benkablia 84′), Hamzaoui (Hammar 68′), Sayoud, Darfalou.

Wydad: Laaroubi, Rabeh, Noussir, Atouchi, Saidi, El Karti (Khadrouf 88′), Nakach, Gaddarine, Bencharki, Doa (El Haddad 72′), Ounajem.

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Alger eye first-leg advantage against Wydad

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Alger eye first-leg advantage against Wydad

Fabrice Nguessi Ondama (R) of Wydad Casablanca vies for the ball with Maroof Yusuf (L) of Zamalek during the African Champions League (CAF) semi-final leg soccer match between Zamalek and Wydad Casablanca at Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, Morocco, 24 September 2016. EPA/ABDELHAK SENNA

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Sep 28, 2017. 15:00


USM Alger will lock horns with Wydad Casablanca in the 2017 CAF Champions League match on Friday.

The semi-final first-leg match will be played at the Stade du 5 Juillet in the Algerian city of Algiers.

Kick-off is at 19h00 CAT.

Alger, who are the 2015 runners-up, booked their place in the last four after defeating Mozambican side Ferroviário Beira on the away goals rule.

The quarter-final tie had ended in a 1-1 stalemate on aggregate following a 0-0 draw in the second-leg clash in Algiers last weekend.

Paul Put, the Alger head coach, is likely to unleash hard-working forward Abderrahmane Meziane Bentahar against Wydad.

Meanwhile, Wydad, who won this tournament in 1992, advanced to the semi-finals after defeating South African side Mamelodi Sundowns 3-2 on penalties.

The quarter-final tie had ended in a 1-1 draw on aggregate after Wydad defeated the defending champions 1-0 in the second-leg clash in Rabat last weekend.

Wydad coach Ihoussaine Ammouta will look to exciting forward Mohammed Ounajem to lead the team’s attack.

The winner on aggregate between Alger and Wydad will face off with either Tunisian side Etoile du Sahel or Egyptian giants Al Ahly in the final.

Referee Sidi Alioum, who hails from Cameroon, will officiate the encounter between Alger and Wydad on Friday.

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Wydad stun Sundowns to advance

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Wydad stun Sundowns to advance

Oupa Manyisa of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Salaheddine Saidi of Wydad Athletic during 2017 Caf Champions League @Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Sep 24, 2017. 00:31


Wydad Casablanca beat Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 in the 2017 CAF Champions League quarter-final second-leg match at the Stade Prince Moulay Abdallah on Saturday night.

Morocco’s Wydad advanced to the semi-finals after defeating the South African side 3-2 on penalties following a 1-1 stalemate on aggregate.

Nicknamed the Kings of Titles, Wydad dominated the match from the start and their pressure paid off in the 26th minute.

Mohammed Ounajem’s cross was headed home by Salah Eddine Saidi – making it 1-0 to Wydad much to the delight of the home crowd.

The defending champions tried to push for the equalizing goal, but the Kings of Titles contained them and the score was 1-0 to Wydad at half-time.

Sundowns should have scored a few minutes into the second-half, but their captain Hlompho Kekana missed the target from close range.

The Sundowns midfielder was then denied by Wydad goalkeeper Zouhair Laaroubi from a free-kick which was in a promising area.

The match ended 1-0 in favour of Wydad on the night and a penalty shootout followed as the tie was locked at 1-1 on aggregare.

Sundowns missed tthree spot-kicks and Wydad won 3-2 on penalties – booking a place in the semi-finals where they will take on Algerian side USM Alger.

Wydad (1) 1 (Saidi 26′)

Sundowns (0)

Wydad: Laaroubi, Rabeh, Noussir, Atouchi, Saidi, Nakach, Gaddarine, Bencharki, Doa (El Karti 76′), Ounnajem, El Haddad (Khadrouf 84′).

Sundowns: Onyango, Langerman, Arendse (Soumahoro 89′), Madisha, Mabunda, Kekana, Manyisa, Zwane (Lebese 84′), Morena, Tau, Billiat (Zakri 73′).

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Wydad look to stun defending champs Sundowns

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Wydad look to stun defending champs Sundowns

Sibusiso Vilakazi of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Salaheddine Saidi of Wydad Athletic during 2017 Caf Champions League game between Mamelodi Sundowns and Wydad AC at Lucas Moripe Stadium on 17 September [email protected] Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Sep 22, 2017. 13:00


Wydad Casablanca will battle with Mamelodi Sundowns in the 2017 CAF Champions League match on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 22h00 CAT.

The quarter-final second-leg encounter will be played at the Stade Mohamed V in the Moroccan city of Casablanca.

The first-leg match was won 1-0 by Sundowns at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa last weekend.

Brahim Nakach is the Wydad club captain and he will be keen to use his experience to help the team overcome Sundowns, and qualify for the semi-finals.

The Moroccan giants have won this tournament once (in 1992) and they are hoping to clinch it for the second time this year.

Meanwhile, all eyes will be on Sundowns forward Yannick Zakri, who scored the winning goal in the first-leg game. He will be looking to inspire his side to another victory.

The South African giants are the defending champions of this tournament and they are hoping to become one of the few clubs that have successfully defended it.

The winner on aggregate will face off with either Algerian outfit USM Alger or Mozambican club Ferroviário Beira in the semi-finals.

Referee Ali Lemghaifry, who hails from Mauritania, will be in charge of the encounter between Wydad and Sundowns on Saturday.

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Pitso Mosimane planning for slow Wydad defence

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Pitso Mosimane planning for slow Wydad defence

Sibusiso Vilakazi of Mamelodi Sundowns challenged by Salaheddine Saidi of Wydad Athletic during 2017 Caf Champions League game between Mamelodi Sundowns and Wydad AC at Lucas Moripe Stadium on 17 September [email protected] Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Sep 22, 2017. 12:30


Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says they can manage to frustrate Wydad Casablanca in their quarterfinal, second leg match of the CAF Champions League.

Although Mosimane’s men are hit by injuries ahead of the clash on Saturday, he is planning on changing his tactics as he wants to use speed in his game plan.

The African champions mentor says he hopes Khama Billiat and Anthony Laffor will be back as he wants to capitalise on the slow Wydad defence.

AFRICANFOOTBALL REVIEWS THE MIDWEEK ABSA PREMIERSHIP ACTION

“Hopefully Khama is back and Anton (Laffor). If I don’t get them, then maybe I will bring Thapelo (Morena) as a winger,” said Mosimane Kick-Off.

“I will make a plan for the speed because I know that Wydad defence is a little bit slow. So we have to consolidate and put the balls behind.

“I think we can manage the game. We have enough Bafana players on the pitch. We’ll probably have different personnel.

“We’ll probably have Anele (Ngcongca) because he is a better defender than Thapelo (Morena).

“Thapelo is quicker and he gives us more options to go forward, but sometimes when I need results Anele does well for me, like in Esperance and St George.”

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African Champions heap praise on Wydad Casablanca – 2017 CAF Champions League

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African Champions heap praise on Wydad Casablanca

Pitso Mosimane coach of Mamelodi Sundowns

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Sep 19, 2017. 11:30


After leading his side to a 1-0 win over Wydad Casablanca on Sunday in their CAF Champions League quarterfinal match, Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has hailed the Moroccans.

Mosimane believes the North Africans are a well-coached side, but says he pushed his men to find a gap and score a goal.

The defending African champions netted through substitute Yannick Zakri and will head to the second leg in Casablanca next weekend enjoying the lead.

“You can see this team is well organised and they are well coached. This was not parking the bus. They move properly and we could not get into the spaces in between. But we had to force and put the risk and say ‘let’s push’,” said Mosimane.

“To be honest, it was a totally different game. That’s why I like Champions League because it’s totally different tactics to the PSL.

“We struggled in the first half to break the ice, we struggled to get the rhythm, we struggled to play like Mamelodi Sundowns and you could see that the boys were getting frustrated.

“I think I did not get the tactics right in the first half. I thought the three-man midfield of Oupa (Manyisa), (Hlompho) Kekana and ‘Vila’ (Sibusiso Vilakazi) would help us to dominate the play. It helped us to dominate, but we did not look like scoring.”

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2017 CAF CL: Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 Wydad Casablanca – AS IT HAPPENED

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2017 CAF CL: Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 Wydad Casablanca - AS IT HAPPENED

Percy Tau of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrating his goal during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 game between Free State Stars and Mamelodi Sundowns at Goble Park, Bethlehem on 11 September 2017 © Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Sunday Sep 17, 2017. 16:56


Good afternoon and welcome to our live PBP coverage of the 2017 CAF Champions League first-leg quarterfinal clash between Mamelodi Sundowns and Wydad Casablanca, from the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville.

Mamelodi Sundowns: Onyango; Morena, Arendse, Madisha (Soumahoro 82′), Langerman – Kekana, Manyisa, Vilakazi (Zakri 46′) – Zwane, Tau, Castro (Nthethe 87′)

Wydad Casablanca: Laaroubi; Noussir, Rabeh, Atouchi, Gaddarine, El Haddad (Khadrouf 78′), Nekach, Saidi, Ait Ben Idir (El Kaeti 67′), Nicaise Daho, Ounnajem

AS IT HAPPENED UPDATES: 

Advantage Sundowns, the second-leg will take place at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca next Saturday, 23 September.

90+5′ Full-Time: Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 Wydad Casablanca – (Zakri 71′) 

90+2′ Heated end to the half with Ounnajem and Mosimane almost coming to blows! Wydad technical team  quick to rush over to the scene, but the referee is quick to calm things down.

90′ Three minutes added.

87′ Mosimane shutting up shop as he pulls Castro off for Nthethe. Sundowns starting to slow things down as they aim to see out the rest of the game without conceding.

80′ Into the final 10 minutes we go in Atteridgeville – Sundowns will be more than happy with the scoreline.

76′ Kekana has another pop from range, but his attempt flies wide of goal. A second would really put the Brazilians in the driving seat heading to Casablanca.

71′ GOAL! Zakri guides home from close range following a well worked corner-kick routine – great touch by Themba Zwane on the byline to set up the Ivorian who makes no mistake.

67′ CHANCE! Golden opportunity for Wayne Arendse to open the scoring as the ball finds him from a free-kick, but he centre back is static with the ball hitting him more than anything – easy for Laaroubi in the end.

65′ Kekana starting to find a lot of space in the middle of the park – up to the midfielder now to capitalize, but in all fairness to the Sundowns captain he has not been at his best this afternoon.

60′ Sundowns ramping up the pressure in Atteridgeville, but the Moroccans are holding on for the time being.

55′ CHANCE! Thapelo Morena ghosts into the area, but is blocked by the Wydad defence. The hosts starting to find their rhythm.

51′ Positive start to the half by the Brazilians as Percy Tau tries his luck from range – ball flies wide, but Mosimane will be happy with the intent.

46′ Attacking intent by Pitso Mosiamane who swaps Themba Zwane with Yannick Zakri at the start of the second stanza.

45+2′ Half-Time: Mamelodi Sundowns 0-0 Wydad Casablanca 

45′ Two minutes added to the half.

43′ Four successive corner-kick‘s here for Wydad who are ending the half on the front foot. Good defending, though, by the Brazilians who clear their lines – finally!

39′ Sundowns starting to find gaps in the Wydad defence – the hosts will need be patient here.

33′ Nervy moment at the back for Sundowns as Mohamed Ounnajem takes a tumble in the box – lucky for the Brazilians who look vulnerable whenever Wydad win possession.

30′ Half-Hour played in Atteridgeville and still little to right home about with Wydad keeping Sundowns at arms length thus far. 11 red shirts in their own half, frustrating the Brazilians.

25′ Wydad happy to sit back and welcome pressure from their hosts. The Moroccans hoping to capitalize on counter-attacks and set-piece opportunists.

20′ Nothing between the two side’s thus far. Sundowns fans starting to find their voice in the stands. Pitso Mosimane, though, will take this scoreline to Casablanca!

13′ Kekana’s shot remains the only notable attempt at goal thus far. Wydad, though, are growing into the game and Onyango is called into action to tip Saidi’s cross-come-shot over the crossbar.

8′ GOAL! No… That looked to have rattled the back of the net – Hlompho Kekana’s rocket fools everyone in the stadium – including the journalists, but his attempt is just wide. CLOSE!

4′ Conservative start to the game by the visitors in what is the first meeting between the two side’s. Early chants of ‘Accccceee’ every time Oupa Manyisa is on the ball.

1′ Kick-off!

– A lot of yellow out in the stands this afternoon, as the defending champions host the Moroccan league holders.

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Sundowns, Wydad ready for quarterfinal battle

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Sundowns, Wydad ready for quarterfinal battle

Percy Tau of Mamelodi Sundowns celebrating his goal during the Absa Premiership 2017/18 game between Free State Stars and Mamelodi Sundowns at Goble Park, Bethlehem on 11 September 2017 © Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Sep 14, 2017. 10:30


Mamelodi Sundowns and Wydad Casablanca will begin battle for a place in the CAF Champions League semifinals when they meet at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Tshwane on Sunday, kick-off at 15h00 CAT.

The teams’ first leg, quarterfinal clash promises to be a thrilling South v North African battle in which the competition’s title holders will seek a strong advantage to take with them to Morocco next weekend.

Wydad were one of the more impressive teams on show in the previous round: they topped a tough Group D ahead of eight-time champions Al Ahly and also have the honour of being the reigning Moroccan title holders.

However, their domestic league campaign got off to a rocky start last weekend when they were beaten 3-1 at home by rivals FUS Rabat, and they will have had significantly less time to prepare for this clash in the wake of a Thursday afternoon match against Rapide Oued Zem.

Sundowns secured their place in the last eight by finishing second behind Tunisian heavyweights Esperance de Tunis in Group C, with a record of two wins, three draws and just one defeat.

The Brazilians will be hoping to improve on their home form: they didn’t win any of the three group matches they hosted and have also lost both of their domestic home matches so far in the 2017/18 season.

Coach Pitso Mosimane will have to cope with a lengthy list of injuries, but his side’s victory away to Free State Stars in a domestic league game earlier this week demonstrated their strength in depth.

“Anthony [Laffor] is on crutches, Khama [Billiat] is injured, Leo [Castro] made it through a late fitness test, [Tiyani] Mabunda is injured. We need to make sure that we look after the team. A team that played tonight is a team I trusted. If you’re in the team of Mamelodi Sundowns, you have to play, there’s no first team and second team,” the ‘Downs coach said after the game against Stars.

The match in Tshwane will be handled by Ethiopian referee Bamlak Tessema Weyesa. The return leg is set for Saturday 23 September at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca. The aggregate winners will face either Ferroviario Beira or USM Alger in the semifinals.

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Achraf Bencharki goal sends Wydad into quarterfinals

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Achraf Bencharki goal sends Wydad into quarterfinals

Wydad Athletic Club Mohamed Ounajem

by
Brian Lee

Saturday Jul 08, 2017. 23:06


A goal from Achraf Bencharki sent Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca into the quarterfinals of the CAF Champions League after beating Zambia’s Zanaco 1-0 in a Group D match at the Complexe Mohammed V on Saturday night.

The win catapulted Wydad to the top of the group standings with 12 points while the loss for Zanaco, combined with Al Ahly’s 3-1 win over Coton Sport (also on Saturday), sees them finish in third place as they exit the competition.

The win for Al Ahly them finish second in the group with 11 points – the same as Zanaco but with a superior goal difference while Coton Sport are last with no points.

The match itself at the Complexe Mohammed V offered very little in terms of goalmouth action in the opening half.

Instead, the play was rather sloppy and both teams showed their frustration with some rough tackling.

The second half produced more drama when Zanaco were reduced to ten men on the hour mark after Taonga Bwembya was giving his matching orders for a second yellow card.

Eight minutes later Achraf Bencharki scored the decisive goal for Wydad to hand them the victory and a spot in the knockout stages of the CAF Champions League.

Wydad will now play either Esperance or Mamelodi Sundowns (who are in action on Sunday) in the quarterfinals of the competition on the weekend of 8-10 September.

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Wydad Casablanca target Zanaco scalp at home

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Wydad Casablanca target Zanaco scalp at home

Al-Ahly player Ahmed Fathy (L) in action against Zanaco player Augustine Mulenga (R) during the African Champions League

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Jul 08, 2017. 13:00


Wydad Casablanca will play host to Zanaco in the 2017 CAF Champions League Group D match at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 20h00 CAT.

Casablanca overcame Cameroonian club Coton Sport 2-0 in their previous group match which was played in Garoua last weekend.

The victory sees the Moroccan club placed second on the Group D standings with nine points. They are two points behind group leaders Zanaco.

A win over the Zanaco will see Casablanca finish at the top of the group and qualify for the knockout stages of this year’s tournament.

Meanwhile, Zanaco held Egyptian giants Al Ahly to a goalless stalemate in their previous group match which was played in Lusaka last weekend.

The draw sees the Zambian side placed at the top of the Group D standings with 11 points. They are three points above third placed Al Ahly.

A draw with Casablanca will be enough to send Zanaco to the quarter-finals of this year’s competition, even if Al Ahly beat Coton Sport in their final group match.

South African referee Daniel Bennett is the man, who will be in charge of the encounter between Casablanca and Zanaco.

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