Saturday Dec 28, 2019. 23:15
Wydad Casablanca have claimed their first win in Group C of the CAF Champions League, defeating Petro de Luanda 4-1 at Stade Mohamed V on Saturday night.
The result, inspired by a bat-trick from Ayoub El Kaabi, sees the Moroccan side placed second behind South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, who won away to USM Alger earlier in the evening, but with a three-point buffer ahead of their fellow North Africans. The Angolans, meanwhile, are bottom of the log with just one point.
The teams traded early chances, though Wydad will feel they should have claimed the lead inside the opening quarter. They saw two chances from El Kaabi and Mohamed Nahiri well saved by Petro goalkeeper Gerson, while the hosts also had a goal disallowed in the 25th minute.
Yet just four minutes later WAC’s relentless pressure and domination of possession paid dividends: Al Kaabi made up for his earlier miss, firing home a superb strike to put the hosts 1-0 up and thrill the big home crowd in Casablanca.
Wydad pushed for another goal before the end of the first half, but the whistle for the interval saw them only 1-0 to the good against a Petro side which was relieved to head into the change room after a tough opening 45 minutes.
The Angolan team was much improved in the second stanza, though Wydad continued to hold sway in possession terms and chances were few and far between for the visitors. Nonetheless, Petro’s Tony showed great efficiency to capitalise on a rare opening by picking up Job’s assist before firing beyond Tagnaouti in the 68th minute to make it 1-1.
Petro’s equaliser sparked Wydad back into life and on 79 minutes they reclaimed the lead, with El Kaabi netting his second of the night after latching onto Badr Gaddarine’s assist.
This opened the floodgates for the Casablanca side, who added a third when defender Wilson directed an effort into his own net in the 84th minute, before El Kaabi completed his hat-trick in injury time from the penalty spot, wrapping up a great individual performance.
The teams will renew hostilities in two weeks’ time with their return clash in Luanda on Saturday 11 January 2020.
Wydad Casablanca (1) 4 (El Kaabi 29’ 79’ 90+3’ pen, Wilson 84’ og)
Petro de Luanda (0) 1 (Tony 68’)
Wydad: Tagnaouti, Noussir, Asrir, Nahiri, Gaddarine, Aouk (El Moutaraji 74’), Nakach, Jabrane, El Haddad, El Kaabi, El Karti (El Hassouni 64’)
Petro: Gerson, Joao, Danilson, Wilson, Carneiro, Alem, Nary (Yano 87’), Mensah (Caranga 65’), Danny (Megue 75’), Job, Tony