Friday Jun 09, 2023. 11:00
Al Ahly will go in search of yet more CAF Champions League glory when they take a lead into the return leg of the final against Wydad Casablanca, set for Stade Mohamed V on the evening of Sunday 11 June 2023.
The first leg at the Cairo International Stadium last weekend ended 2-1 in favour of the Egyptian side. Strikes from Percy Tau and Mahmoud Kahraba put the Red Devils in full control of the tie, until a late away goal from Saifeddine Bouhra brought the Moroccan team right back into contention.
In fact, the Red Castle need only a 1-0 win to take the tie on the away goals rule, and they will know that Stade Mohamed V is a place holding mixed memories for Al Ahly, who won the 2020-21 CAFCL at the stadium, but were also beaten 2-0 there by Wydad in the title match the very next season.
And Wydad coach Sven Vandenbroeck is very much playing up the importance of their away goal: “It can be a big advantage in seven days. I think we can be very happy with a 2-1 score,” said the Belgian.
“At 2-0, you think you’re dead, but with an away goal, it opens all the doors. I’m very happy with what we did as a group. Everyone who was given a chance to play performed their role well. This is a very united group and we played as a team. I hope we can be rewarded with the title [on Sunday].”
The Casablanca club is looking to win back-to-back CAFCL titles for the first time in their history and a fourth continental crown overall.
Al Ahly, meanwhile, are chasing a record-extending 11th CAFCL title and a third in the space of four seasons. Coach Marcel Koller believes his team will cancel out Wydad’s away goal and claim the title.
“We did not lose and I am certain we are able to score a goal in Morocco which will give us a good advantage for a positive result,” said the Swiss tactician.
“I am delighted with the victory [in the first leg]. The final is always difficult because it is a meeting between the two best teams in the continent. We performed well as a team and deserved the victory. I trust in my players that we can win the title.”
Ethiopian referee Bamlak Tessema Weyesa will take charge of the match in Casablanca on Sunday evening.