Wydad Athletic Club couldn’t capitalize on Raja Casablanca’s defeat earlier as the Reds were stretched to a goalless draw by Chabab Mohammedia; WAC still go top on the Botola league table with a point clear.
WAC now lead the table with 13 points against Raja’s 12 points after Match-day 5 of the Morocco Premier League.
Since the start of the new campaign, it had been a superior goal difference that Wydad are leapfrogged on the table by Raja Club Athletic with both clubs winning their first four matches.
However, the story changed in week 5 with Raja Casablanca losing 1-2 at home to RSB Berkane earlier Sunday as Wydad got the opportunity to climb to three points clear off their rivals when they traveled to face Chabab Mohemmedia on Sunday night.
However, WAC failed to pick all three points only settling for a 0-0 draw against stubborn Mohammedia.
The week 5 dynamics of results see Wydad Athletic narrowly climb to top of the Moroccan top flight which is a boost ahead of their African Champions League game against Ghana Premier League champions Hearts of Oak.
In the game that much was expected from WAC, they fought well in the first half but couldn’t open the defense of Chabab Mohammedia who were resolute in shielding their goal line.
Chabab Mohammedia started the game stronger but only for the first five minutes as Wydad Athletic took over till the end of the first half.
Looking at how Wydad played as the better side for most minutes of the game, which does not reflect the score with the first 45’ minutes seeing small chances for each side.
Wydad did well to clear all the few dangerous aerial dwells that came against them in the half. On their turn in attacks, they decided to play through the middle but Mohammedia built a wall in the middle of the pitch that makes difficult to penetrate.
Wydad managed to steal Mohammedia’s back line but a through ball intended for their lone striker was ended up offside. In fact, that was the best moment they could have scored from in the first half.
After start of the second half, the home side put pressure on Wydad for the opener but it remained goalless by the 60’ minute mark. This time Mohammedia have come away from own half to press high as Wydad were stuck in their game plan.
However, Wydad managed to surged forward and nearly broke the deadlock on 71st minute when Guy Mbenza sent in a beautiful effort at goal that missed by inches. The Congolese forward is on loan from Belgium side Royal Antwerp.
As the edge to pick all three points increases, the pressure on Mohammed went up with Libyan forward Muaid Ellafi cutting in from the left flank; shot at goal but couldn’t find the target five minutes later.
Few minutes later, Mohammedia players challenged the referee for two penalty appeals after their two stars were brought down in the box.
Wydad should have scored in stoppage time but a resultant free kick into the box which was diverted at goal by WAC player was parried to a corner. When it was swung in the ball traveled beyond every to the far side which no WAC player was there to connect as Mohammedia instead cleared the lines.
The referee whistled for end of action as WAC run away with a crucial point that send them to summit of the Botola league table. Their next game is when they travel to Ghana to face Hearts of Oak in the Caf Champions League first round at the Accra Sports Stadium next two weeks.