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Zakri: There will be fire in Morocco – 2017 CAF Champions League

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Zakri: There will be fire in Morocco

Yannick Zakri of Mamelodi Sundown 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Sep 20, 2017. 13:00


Mamelodi Sundowns striker Yannick Zakri says their CAF Champions League quarterfinal, second leg clash against Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca will not be a walk in the park.

The Cote d’Ivoirean attacker netted the winning goal last weekend as the African champions beat the Moroccans 1-0 in Tshwane.

The former Asec Mimosas forward said he knows life will be tough in Casablanca.

“It’s fire there. Fire! Arab teams are totally different when they play at home. I know it will be very difficult,” Zakri tells the IOL.

“I have played Wydad three times. I know every player there. I know how Wydad play, how they attack and defend.

“I know everything. But every game you play isn’t the same. As much as I know them, they also know me. Maybe they are working on how to stop me.”

Meanwhile, together with teammates such as Themba Zwane and Motjeka Madisha, Zakri has been included in the CAF Best XI after the first leg matches.

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Yannick Zakri the hero in Atteridgeville

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Yannick Zakri the hero in Atteridgeville

Yannick Zakri of Mamelodi Sundown 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by
Bertin Basson

Sunday Sep 17, 2017. 17:23


Yannick Zakri emerged from the bench to great effect as Mamelodi Sundowns beat Wydad Casablanca 1-0 in a 2017 CAF Champions League first-leg quarterfinal clash at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville on Sunday.

The Brazilians clinic on home soil as they now turn their attention to the second-leg in Casablanca, boasting an unbeaten record on their travels in this year’s competition.

Sundowns – chasing a first home win of the season – showed their intent from the onset as Hlompho Kekana guided his rasping effort inches wide of goal in the eight minute.

Many in the crowd though that he ball had rattled the back of the net, but to their disappointment, Kekana’s effort had whistled off target.

This, though, is how good it would get for the hosts in the opening stanza with the Moroccan giants happy to sit back and absorb all the pressure, and hit the defending champions on the counter-attack.

Mohamed Ounnajem should’ve capitalized after ‘Downs coughed up possession in a dangerous area, but Motjeka Madisha and Thapelo Morena got back in a flash to clear from danger with 33 minutes on the clock.

The visitors ended the half on the front foot with four successive corner-kicks, but the hosts held firm. Goalless at the interval.

Pitso Mosimane introduced Yannick Zakri following the break with the Ivorian providing the desired impact following a sustained spell of pressure.

A well worked corner-kick routine – which included a delightful touch by Themba Zwane – guided home by the attacker in the 71st minute.

The closing stages would offer little in terms of goal-scoring chances as Sundowns now prepare to jet off to North Africa full of confidence – eager to do the job in North Africa once more.

The reverse fixture is set to take place at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca next Saturday, 23 September 2017.

Mamelodi Sundowns (0) 1 (Zakri 71′)

Wydad Casablanca (0) 0

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

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