Sundowns Lose Africa Champions League Semi-final First Leg to Wydad
Wydad Casablanca have claimed the advantage after the first leg of the 2018/2019 African Champions League semi-final with a 2-1 victory over South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns.
Wydad Casablanca have claimed the advantage after the first leg of the 2018/2019 African Champions League semi-final with a 2-1 victory over South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, Morocco on Friday.
The Moroccans started quite slow but grew after the 10th minute when Badied Aouk got the first shot in anger after a ball from Achraf Dari.
Walid El Karti threatened too with a shot from Brahim Nakkach, but it went over the top of Dennis Onyango’s goal.
Ismaili Haddad came close to the opener with a looping header from a free-kick, but Onyango did well to punch it away for a corner.
Sundowns were left dangling in sixes and sevens when Mohammed Nahiri found Salaheddine Saidi who finished easily to break the deadlock.
The high-pressured game continued when Tebogo Langerman looked to round off a well-orchestrated move with a goal, but he was unable to beat Ahmed Tagnaouti who came up with an easy save on half an hour mark.
Pitso Mosimane’s men finally found the equalizer through Ngcongca’s flying header inside the box three minutes before the break as the first stanza ended 1-1.
Two minutes into the second half, Wydad restored their lead as Badi Aouk with a simple tap in at the far post after Ismail El Haddad’s initial was parried by Onyango.
A change from the Brazilians came three minutes before the hour-mark as Phakamani Mahlambi replaced Gaston Sirino for apparent tactical reasons.
Sundowns conceded a free-kick just outside the box, but Abdellatif Noussit was unable to beat Onyango after 62 minutes as the keeper pulled out a stunning save.
Mahlambi should have leveled the matters for Sundowns three minutes later after collecting a diagonal through ball but he could not connect with the pass with the net open.
The pace of the match somewhat went down after 70 minutes following a very fast hour or so of football, although Wydad saw more of the ball.
Auk almost got the third goal for the Moroccans and himself in the 83rd minute with a half-volley at the back post but Sundowns shot-stopper Onyango made a great save.
Anela Ngcongca tried to get his second five minutes before time with a strike from range but Wydad goalkeeper Tagnaouti smothered his effort.
The reverse fixture is set for Lucas Moripe Stadium on May 4. The winner will take on either Esperance de Tunis (Tunisia) or TP Mazembe (DR Congo) in the final.