CAF Champions League- Wydad Casablanca draw 2-2 at Mamelodi Sundowns to set Al Ahly final
In a very dramatic second leg encounter at the Loftus Verfeld, Wydad Casablanca came from behind twice to seal CAF Champions League final place against brilliant Mamelodi Sundowns.
Early second half lead through Themba Zwane was canceled by El Amloud before Peter Shalulile restored Sundowns’ lead but an own goal from Mothobi Mvala ensured Wydad pulled the lever for the second time as the defending champions reach second Champions League final in a row.
Mamelodi Sundowns failed to let come through anticipated CAF Champions League final with Al Ahly after only drawing 2-2 with defending Champions Wydad Casablanca in semifinals second leg in South Africa.
The PSL side forced the Moroccan giants to a goalless draw game in the first leg at Mohamed V Stadium, and despite, the second leg was still a tricky clash.
Wydad boss Sven Vandenbroeck who replaced Juan Carlos Garrido prior to the first leg in Morocco proved a point in the 0-0 game a week ago and made a significant statement for the second leg in Loftus Versfeld.
The South Africans though started and dominated proceedings but the visitors were more determined in defense. However, Mamelodi Sundowns managed to create some decent chances in earl play of the clash with Peter Shalulile getting the better of Wydad’s defense but his touch was not strong enough to beat Youssef El Motie.
Wydad nearly pulled a surprise in the run of play after a long ball from deep midfield set Ounajem through in one-on-one situation but Abdelmounaim Boutouil run to clear the danger.
Sundowns neatly controlled the game but continually lacked the final ball with this into Wydad’s major advantage.
Wydad who rarely attacked Sundowns could hold the Brazilians for only five minutes into the second half with their attempt to launch attack from the back causing them a downfall. El Motie sparked an attack with intended ball to Yahya Jabrane in their own half but Thembe Zwane dispossessed beating a man before curling a nice one to the right top.
Mamelodi Sundowns later broke on attack again as Wydad needed to save themselves Jabrane fouled Shalulile on the right edge. The resultant delivery was cleared. Sundowns quality were running through the game with Zwane, Shalulile and Morena troubling Wydad’s defense.
Wydad won a foul and threatened for the first time in the second half after Bouly Sambou’s header missed the target narrowly. Wydad cam,e forward again as Moutaraji beat Mothobi Mvala and Khuliso Mudau on the left edge entering into the box but the later reacted to clear the ball to corner. Wydad were pushing for the equalizer but not in confident matter but in hit and run approach.
Moutaraji was played through on the left edge in another Wydad attack but Sundowns keeper Williams saved the forward’s one-on-one effort to corner. Wydad looked dangerous at this point and pulled the lever after all after Yahya Jabrane’s long ball into the box was headed into the bottom right corner by Ayoub El Amloud.
Wydad were qualifying on away goal rule but the Brazilians’ play was something strong enough to predict their second goal. Restoration of their lead came finally and 7 minutes later after a nice team move with a low cross into the box was fired into the net by Shalulile.
The South African grabbed his sixth CAF Champions League goal of the season. Mbule committed a foul at the right wing given Wydad the opportunity to level with Eight minutes to full time. The resultant delivery went into the box as Mothobi Mvala scored an own goal leaving the game 2-2 on 83rd minute.
Wydad slowly kept possession in closing stage of the game winning two corners to delay time. The last corner finally earned Sundowns a throw-in at the opposite side of the pitch. Sundowns’ aim to pile last-minute pressure was dent by Wydad’s series of mini possession in final stage of the game.
Wydad progress to the final on 2-2 away goal rule where they will meet Egyptian side Al Ahly, a repetition of last season’s CAF Champions League final.
In other semifinal clash, Al Ahly won 4-0 on aggregate after beating ES Tunis 1-0 in the second leg in Cairo Saturday.