MC Alger eye first-leg advantage against Wydad

MC Alger eye first-leg advantage against Wydad
MC Alger captain Abderrahmane Hachoud leads his players out

by Bertin Basson

Friday May 14, 2021. 09:00

Mouloudia Club d’Alger will play host to Wydad Casablanca in a 2020-21 Caf Champions League quarterfinal first-leg match on Friday evening.

Kick-off at Stade du 5 Juillet in Algiers is at 21h00 CAT.

The Algerian hosts will be eager to make the most of home advantage ahead of the return game in Casablanca later this month.

MC Alger, 1976 champions of the competition, booked their spot in the last eight of Africa’s premier club tournament for the first time in 41 years after finishing second behind Esperance de Tunis and ahead of Egyptian giants Zamalek in Group D.

Green and Red go into the clase on the back of a loss to USM Alger in the Algerian League Cup last weekend, but head coach Nabil Neghiz wants his team to use that disappointment as motivation and fuel for their continental showdown against Wydad.

“A victory against the WAC would be the best rehabilitation,” the coach MCA said. “I can sense your disappointment, but you have to channel it and consider it an asset in the Maghreb derby on Friday.

“Forget the League Cup, because you are a few days away from a very important match in the Champions League, the most prestigious competition you can play in your life, and you have a chance of making it to the semifinals.”

Finding the back of the net on home soil will be vital, according to Neghiz: “We have to score more than one goal. So we have to create opportunities; all those we will have, we have to put it in.

“It’s a derby that will be played on details, so we really have to do everything to ensure the essential. We have to score more than one goal in order to take cover when we go to Casablanca.”

He added, “Indeed, you have to score a lot of goals, because Wydad will not be tender at home. All Mouloudia dreams of this place in the semifinals of the Champions League, a first for Mouloudéens who have not succeeded for ages.”

Wydad advanced onto the last eight as Group C winners. The Moroccan club finished above Kaizer Chiefs, Horoya and Petro de Luanda and are amongst the favourites to win the competition this season.

The Botola Pro leaders and two-time Caf Champions League winners (1992, 2017) conceded just one goal in six group matches. Wydad is coached by veteran Tunisian mentor Faouzi Benzarti who has won five CAF titles, more than any other African.

The aggregate winner of the match between MCA and Wydad will face either Kaizer Chiefs or Simba SC in the semifinals.

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