Al Ahly chase yet more CAF Champions League glory

Al Ahly chase yet more CAF Champions League glory
Mohamed Abdelmoneim of Al Ahly and Bouly Junior Sambou of Wydad during the CAF Champions League 2022/23 Final, First leg between Al Ahly and Wydad at Cairo International Stadium in Egypt on 04 June 2023 ©Emeira Mostafa/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Friday Jun 09, 2023. 11:00

Al Ahly will go in search of yet more CAF Champions League glory when they take a lead into the return leg of the final against Wydad Casablanca, set for Stade Mohamed V on the evening of Sunday 11 June 2023.

The first leg at the Cairo International Stadium last weekend ended 2-1 in favour of the Egyptian side. Strikes from Percy Tau and Mahmoud Kahraba put the Red Devils in full control of the tie, until a late away goal from Saifeddine Bouhra brought the Moroccan team right back into contention.

In fact, the Red Castle need only a 1-0 win to take the tie on the away goals rule, and they will know that Stade Mohamed V is a place holding mixed memories for Al Ahly, who won the 2020-21 CAFCL at the stadium, but were also beaten 2-0 there by Wydad in the title match the very next season.

And Wydad coach Sven Vandenbroeck is very much playing up the importance of their away goal: “It can be a big advantage in seven days. I think we can be very happy with a 2-1 score,” said the Belgian.

“At 2-0, you think you’re dead, but with an away goal, it opens all the doors. I’m very happy with what we did as a group. Everyone who was given a chance to play performed their role well. This is a very united group and we played as a team. I hope we can be rewarded with the title [on Sunday].”

The Casablanca club is looking to win back-to-back CAFCL titles for the first time in their history and a fourth continental crown overall.

Al Ahly, meanwhile, are chasing a record-extending 11th CAFCL title and a third in the space of four seasons. Coach Marcel Koller believes his team will cancel out Wydad’s away goal and claim the title.

“We did not lose and I am certain we are able to score a goal in Morocco which will give us a good advantage for a positive result,” said the Swiss tactician.

“I am delighted with the victory [in the first leg]. The final is always difficult because it is a meeting between the two best teams in the continent. We performed well as a team and deserved the victory. I trust in my players that we can win the title.”

Ethiopian referee Bamlak Tessema Weyesa will take charge of the match in Casablanca on Sunday evening.

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