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Wydad Casablanca Holds Al Ahly To A 1-1 Stalemate in The Champions League Final First Leg


Moroccan outfit Wydad Casablanca left Egypt cerebrating a crucial away goal after holding favorites Al Ahly to a 1-1 draw in the 2017 CAF Champions League final first-leg clash at the Borg El Arab Stadium on Saturday.

The Red Devils of Egypt got off to a dream start in what looked like an easy routine game, breaking the deadlock in the third minute of play through Moamen Zakaria. The attacking midfielder struck a thunderous left-footed strike from outside the box to give record eight time champions Al Ahly the lead.

Al Ahly continued to put on a dominant display early in the game and could have had three in the first twenty minutes but continued to squander their chances.

Morocco’s domestic giants who last won a Champions League trophy 25 years ago with stood the early storm and soon found the equalizer in the 16th minute.

Mohamed Ounajem lobbed in a hard cross into the Al Ahly box to find Moroccan 23-year-old striker Achraf Bencharki who headed past goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy to make it 1-1.

Wydad head coach Hussein Amotta soon noticed a need for a tactical change bringing in Abdeladim Khadrouf for Ounajem in the 27th minute to put more stability in the middle.

There wasn’t much of a difference with Ajayi and El-Said both missing two very good opportunities to put the home side in front again.

The major talking point in the second half was when Ahly boss Hossam El-Badr almost lost his bearings after Azaro was clearly brought down in the box but a penalty was denied.

“The referee denied us a legitimate penalty after a Wydad defender fouled Azaro inside the area,” Hossam El-Badr told reporters after the game.

“I expected it to be a tough game, but we weren’t lucky in finishing off our attacks. We weren’t lucky today.”

“I expect to enjoy much more chances in the return leg, where we will be fighting for the title. Wydad managed to minimize spaces here, but that won’t be the case in the return leg.” he added.

Wydad who have won all their six Champions League games at home conceding only once now have an upper hand and will now head into the second-leg match at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca next week Saturday needing just a scoreless draw or a win to take the trophy.

With a $2.5m prize and a spot next year at the FIFA UAE Club World Cup up for grabs, the stakes have been raised which will surely give us a mouthwatering fixture next week.

Al Ahly XI: 

Ekramy; Fathy, Nagiub, Saad, Maaloul, El-Sulaya, Rabia, Zakaria, Abdallah, Ajayi (Soliman 65′), Azarou,(Moteab 86′), (Hamoudi 78′)

Wydad XI: 

Laaroubi, Rabeh, Ouattara, Noussir, Saidi, El Karti, Nakach, Gaddarine, Bencharki, Ounajem, El Haddad, (Khadrouf 27′), (Doa 83′).



Image by Ahlm multimedia

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