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Wydad Casablanca Face Al Ahly In African Champions League Semis

Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca will face off against Al Ahly of Egypt in the African Champions League semi-final first leg match at Mohamed V Complex on Saturday.

Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca will face off against Al Ahly of Egypt in the African Champions League semi-final first leg match at Mohamed V Complex on Saturday.

The King of the Titles squeezed into the semis after beating Tunisian outfit Etoile du Sahel 2-1 on aggregate while Al Ahly secured their path to the final four after a 3-1 thrashing of Mamelodi Sundowns across the two quarterfinals meetings.

Miguel Gamondi’s team will be hoping they can upset the Red Devils in the first leg and go all the way and clinch their third Champions League title having won their first crown back in 2017.

Coming from a victory in Moroccan championship, Wydad will be in a beaming mood after overcoming Rapide Oued Zem 2-1 in their last league match over a week ago.

Pitso Mosimane and his men are expecting a tough match as three years ago, Wydad beat Al Ahly 2-1 on aggregate but Ahly had another shot at the elusive trophy the following year, only to lose again, this time at the hands of Tunisia’s Esperance.

His squad knows how to win high-profile matches, and they’ll be desperate to make their recent experiences count when they face Wydad.

“I know Wydad well, they are a strong team, and we respect them, and they also know Al Ahly very well. But we are here to have a positive result, and why not come back home with a win,” Mosimane said in a match preview.

“We have many injured players, but I cannot complain. This is football and we played some games without our key players and still got positive results. I believe in my team.”

Al Ahly with be having gaps at the backline as Rami Rabia, Mahmoud Metwalli and Saad Samir failed to travel with the team due to injuries sustained in domestic league matches.

But the Red Devils goalkeeper Mohamed El-Shennawy has warned Wydad that his charges are determined to add the CAF Champions League to the Egyptian Premier League title they have already claimed this season.

“Our target is the title, but we are taking each game in time. Wydad is a good team and we respect them much. But in Al Ahly we play each game to win, whatever the competition is. We want to make our supporters happy,” the custodian said.

Wydad will be without the services of midfielder Salaheddine Saidi who was expected to be deployed in defence but will miss the game after contracting coronavirus.

Ivorian defender Cheick Compare is also doubtful due to an injury but coach Gomandi is unworried man as he is confident of pulling a win.

“This is a crucial game. Our target is to go to the final and lift the cup. We had a tight schedule in the Moroccan “Botola”, but my players are ready. I thank them for their great efforts despite being exhausted and especially amidst this pandemic,” said Gamondi.

“We are looking forward to achieving a good result before the return leg in Cairo.”

The return leg will be played on 23 October 2020 at the Cairo International Stadium, Cairo.

The winner on aggregate between the sides will tackle either Moroccan club Raja Casablanca or Egyptian side Zamalek in the final.

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