Wydad, Sundowns renew rivalry

Wydad, Sundowns renew rivalry
Gaston Sirino of Mamelodi Sundowns tackled by Alberto Campos of Petro Atletico Luanda

by Staff Reporter

Friday Dec 06, 2019. 08:00

Wydad Casablanca and Mamelodi Sundowns will renew their heated rivalry when the teams meet in a Group C match in the CAF Champions League on Saturday night. The clash is slated for the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca, with kick-off at 21:00 CAT.

WAC and ‘Downs have met no less than eight times in this competition in the past two and a bit years, striking up a fierce rivalry which has even spilled into off-pitch fisticuffs on occasion. Most importantly, the standard of football between these two continental giants is always high, and we can expect another top-notch clash.

Wydad come into the game on the back of a 1-1 draw away to USM Alger in Blida last weekend. The Moroccans looked set for an opening defeat when they trailed to Abdelkrim Zouari’s early goal for most of the match, but they hit back in the dying minutes through Badie Aouk to secure a share of the spoils.

“We showed strong character to keep fighting and score near the end of the game,” said coach Zoran Manojlovic, who is under pressure to take his charges back to winning form following three straight matches without a victory across all competitions.

Sundowns, meanwhile, top the group standings after an emphatic 3-0 home win over Petro de Luanda. Mauricio Affonso, Motjeka Madisha and the impressive youngster Sphelele Mkhulise netted the goals for the Brazilians.

The South African side will be looking for their first positive away result against Wydad, with their four previous trips to Casablanca all ending in defeats, but coach Pitso Mosimane believes this time could be different.

“I just cannot crack it there [in Casablanca]. It’s tough there, we haven’t won or drawn against them there. We will try again, it means we haven’t tried enough,” Mosimane explained. “Maybe this time we can do it. They are stubborn, that team. They know how to play. They are very experienced.”

DR Congo referee Jean-Jacques Ndala Ngambo will be in charge of the clash at Stade Mohamed V. The other Group C game this Saturday is an afternoon clash between Petro and USMA at Estadio 11 de Novembro in Luanda.

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