Kaizer Chiefs players celebrates goal during the 2021 CAF Champions League Semi Final 1st Leg football match between Wydad Casablanca and Kaizer Chiefs at Stade Mohamed V,Casablanca,Morocco on 19 June 2021 ©/BackpagePix
Saturday Jun 19, 2021. 23:21
Samir Nurkovic scored with Kaizer Chiefs’ only shot on target to beat Wydad Casablanca 1-0 in a 2020/21 CAF Champions League first-leg semifinal match at Stade Mohammed V on Saturday evening.
The Amakhosi put in a gallant defensive display in a game in which the hosts dominated possession and will carry a huge advantage into the second-leg on home soil as a result.
Wydad bossed the ball from the get-go and from very early on the signs were there that Bruce Bvuma would be a busy man in the Chiefs goal.
Bvuma, who has been the preferred choice of late, showed why on the half-hour mark when he pulled off a superb save to deny Muaid Ellafi from finding the back of the net with his header attempt.
The stop proved integral to the outcome of the match as with the next chance in Casablanca Chiefs scored. On the counter-attack, Njabulo Blom found Samir Nurkovic who thumped the ball into the back of the net. The assistant’s flag was initially raised for offside, but after a swift VAR review the goal rightfully stood.
Bvuma was called into action once more on the cusp of half-time. Ayman El Hassouni was a handful throughout and the Chiefs shot-stopper had to be at his best to keep out the Moroccan’s free-kick attempt.
El Hassouni was a constant threat and forced Bvuma into another fine save in the 64th minute. This time the skilful midfielder fizzed a powerful shot on target from range but Bvuma was up to the task.
Wydad continued to dominate proceedings with a wave of relentless pressure, but Chiefs stood firm to take a massive step towards a first Champions League final appearance.
The second-leg is set to take place at FNB Stadium in Soweto on Saturday, June 26.
The aggregate winner will face either Esperance de Tunis or defending champions Al Ahly in this year’s final.
Wydad Casablanca (0) 0
Kaizer Chiefs (1) 1 (Nurkovic 34′)
Wydad Casablanca: Tagnaouti; Attiyat, Aboulfath, Dari, El Amloud, Hassouni (Saidi 90′), Jabrane, Ellafi (Msuvu 68′), Ounajem, El Karti, El Kaabi.
Kaizer Chiefs: Bvuma; Frosler, Ngezana, Mathoho, Cardoso, Sasman (Zulu 61′), Katsande, Blom (Baccus 73′), Parker, Nurkovic, Castro (Akumu 80′).