Al Ahly, Wydad battle for CAFCL glory

Al Ahly, Wydad battle for CAFCL glory
Al Ahly's head coach Pitso Mosimane and Wydad Athletic Club coach Walid Regragui

by Graeme Jackson

Sunday May 29, 2022. 11:00

Al Ahly and Wydad Casablanca will battle to be crowned CAF Champions League winners when they meet in the final at Stade Mohamed V in Morocco on the evening of Monday 30 May 2022. Kick is at 21:00 CAT.

Al Ahly are looking to become the first team to win three successive Champions League titles and secure a record-extending 11th continental crown, but they will face a tough obstacle in Wydad.

The Moroccan side has two CAFCL titles to their name and has been one of the most consistent performers in this competition in recent seasons, reaching the semifinals or better in six of the last seven editions of the competition.

They also have a controversial home advantage for this one-off final, with Casablanca the only city which submitted a complete bid to the Confederation of African Football to host the match – much to the anger and frustration of Al Ahly.

Nonetheless, Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane has backed his team to shrug off the venue controversy, mounting injuries and a packed schedule to claim CAFCL glory.

“There is no problem with playing every three days, this has always been the case at [Mamelodi] Sundowns and this is normal if we are competing in the Champions League,” Mosimane explained. “I would rather play every three days and compete for the Champions League than to play every five days in one tournament and crash out of another.

“We will fight to win the CAF Champions League. We played in the absence of important international players before under great pressure and we are used to it.”

He added, “I am confident that we will win the CAF Champions League. We won back-to-back titles in the past two years and 10 times in total. So why not win the 11th title?”

Wydad Casablanca coach Walid Regraui, meanwhile, has looked to ease the pressure on his side by claiming that Al Ahly are the favourites.

“RS Berkane put us under pressure by winning the CAF Confederation Cup. We now have to win the Champions League for a Moroccan Super Cup,” Regragui said. “Al Ahly are putting us under a lot of pressure, look at what they are doing on social media.

“If they win, they will be heroes who won the title in Casablanca, but if they lose it will be out of their hands as they played the final in Morocco.

“Al Ahly are favorites to win the title, they are more experienced and they have history on their side. If we win, we will be very happy, especially since we didn’t make any transfers. We will fight for the title, we will do everything we can to win.”

In head-to-head stats, Ahly and Wydad have met in 10 previous matches in the Champions League, dating back as far as 2011. The Egyptian side has claimed four wins compared to two for the Moroccan club, while four games have been drawn.

Their most recent meetings were in the final of the 2019-20 edition of the Champions League, with Ahly claiming a 5-1 aggregate triumph thanks to a 2-0 win in Casablanca and 3-1 victory in Cairo.

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