Saturday May 20, 2023. 11:14
Wydad Casablanca head coach Sven Vandenbroeck has revealed the mood in the camp is positive as they look to beat Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa for the first time on Saturday.
The CAF Champions League semi-final tie is delicately poised after the Red Castle were held to a goalless draw by nine-man Sundowns in the first leg at the Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca last weekend.
Wydad must win in Pretoria to keep their title defence alive – something they have failed to do in five previous attempts in Africa’s elite club competition but Vandenbroeck believes they can do it.
The Belgian tactician didn’t even have to raise his players’ spirits after their perfect home record came to an end against the Brazilians, who played the entire second half with a numerical disadvantage following the 43rd-minute dismissal of Neo Maema.
“Immediately after the game they were talking positively and you know when that happens you have a chance,” he said ahead of the second-leg clash at Loftus Versfeld.
“But if they are negative you have a problem. The senior guys were positive even after the worst result at home, they were positive. So we have a chance.”
Vandenbroeck was only appointed to the helm a fortnight ago after the club parted ways with Juan Carlos Garrido and he’s determined to repay the faith shown in him by guiding Wydad to a second successive final.
“When you can go to a team that is still in four competitions, it is an easy choice. Wydad is a big image in Africa, it is a step forward for me,” he added.
“There are only positive reasons why I came, and being in the Champions League, the Arabic Cup and working for a team that is top four or five in Africa is an honour.”
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