Thursday May 12, 2022. 16:45
Wydad Casablanca will be looking to maintain their unbeaten home record in the CAF Champions League this season when Petro de Luanda visit the Mohammed V Stadium on Friday in the semi-final, second leg.
Kick-off is at 9pm CAT (SA, GMT+2)
The Red Castle put one foot in the final when they beat the Tricolores 3-1 at the 11 November Stadium last weekend in the first leg.
Walid Regragui’s side have been formidable on home soil in the competition, recording three wins and a draw in Casablanca, where they have scored 11 goals while conceding just two.
Only CR Belouizdad managed to keep Wydad at bay in their own backyard in the quarter-finals after playing out to a 0-0 draw in the second leg.
Regragui admitted his tactical plan worked a treat against Petro in Luanda, although he was rather surprised to score three away goals.
“We knew that Petro de Luanda likes to play tiki taka [short passing] and we had a strategy of letting them play and going over their mistakes,” he said.
“And, quite simply, that strategy worked very well for my team. We expected to win, but I must say that Petro are a very strong team and we didn’t expect to win by 3-1.”
The Angolan giants face an uphill task of epic proportions to reach their first-ever final, having won just once away from home on the continent this year.
Alexandre Santos’ team are aware of what awaits them on Friday after suffering a heavy 5-1 defeat to the Moroccan champions at the same venue during the group stages.
Petro have scored at least once in every match on their travels in 2022, although they will need to keep a clean sheet to have any chance of progressing, something they have only achieved once.
“(The first leg) result complicates our aspirations to reach the final,” Santos was quoted as saying by O Jogo.
“We are at a big disadvantage for the second leg and I know it will be very difficult, because we know which team we will face in front of their audience.”