Casablanca, Sunday @PeopleSports11
Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca will represent Africa at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 after defeating Egyptian giants Al Ahly 2-1 on aggregate in the CAF Champions League final.
Walid El Karti scored the winning goal in the second leg with a header in the 69th minute from a precise cross delivered by Acraf Bencharki.
As expected, Al Ahly started the match on the front foot as they were chasing the tie following the 1-1 draw in the first leg in Alexandria. Going into the second leg in Casablanca, Wydad knew a goalless draw would be enough to see them through.
The Moroccan club maintained a solid defensive shape knowing they carried enough threat up top to potentially punish Al Ahly on the counter-attack. Wydad almost found the breakthrough in the 30th minute when Abdeladim Khadrouf’s attempted shot inside the penalty area hit the Al Ahly crossbar after taking a deflection.
Al Ahly’s best chance in the first half came in the 33rd minute when Momen Zakaria went one-on-one with Zouahir Laaroubi, but the goalkeeper made the crucial save. – AFP
Wydad head coach Lhoussaine Ammouta changed his tactics in the second half as his side maintained possession in their attacking half to minimise Al Ahly’s chances. Eventually the tactics paid off as El Karti latched on to the end of Bencharki’s cross to put the result beyond doubt.
Wydad lift the CAF Champions League trophy for the second time in their history. They won the competition for the first time in 1992.
They will face Pachuca of Mexico in the quarter-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 on 9 December.