CAF Champions League: WAC squander chance to reach final against Sundowns

Le Wydad face aux Mamelodi Sundowns
CAF Champions League: WAC squander chance to reach final against Sundowns

Wydad Athletic Casablanca were outnumbered in the first half but could not make the difference at home to Mamelodi Sundowns in the first leg of the CAF Champions League semi-final. The defending champions will therefore go to Pretoria without the advantage of the score (0-0).

We knew that this trip to Casablanca to face WAC was not going to be very easy for Mamelodi Sundowns. Even if the African Brazilians are incredibly efficient on the road in the Champions League with successes in Algeria against CR Belouizdad (4-1), in Cameroon against Coton Sport (3-1) and in Mauritius against Passe (7-0), they have never been comfortable in the Moroccan city.

Sundowns have lost four of their last five trips to the Mohamed V stadium in Casablanca. On Saturday night they tried to beat the spell by cornering WAC from the start. While the South Africans were well into the game, they were reduced to 10 men just before the break. Neo Maema, author of two goals and an assist in the competition, was sent off after an uncontrolled challenge (43rd). The South African champions were also reduced to 9 after the send off for a second time at the very end of the match. The Chilean Allende, who came on as a substitute in the 75th minute, was also sent off for a very dangerous tackle (90th+5).

WAC did not take advantage of their numerical superiority, however. The Moroccans, not very inspired, did not have many chances. They could have been surprised by Namibia's Peter Taanyanda Shalulile, who could have scored a sumptuous sombrero and acrobatic finish in the final minutes of the game. With no goals and no winners (0-0), the decision will be made in Pretoria next Saturday, while in the other semi-final, Al Ahly took a big step towards the final with a 3-0 victory over Esperance Tunis.

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