South African giants Kaizer Chiefs have given themselves a big chance of reaching the CAF Champions League final with a crucial away victory in the first leg semi-final against Moroccan outfit Wydad Casablanca.
Playing the game in an empty stadium in Casablanca on Saturday, June 19, hosts Wydad dominated play and threatened the Chiefs goal area for a big part of the game, but they were unable to find the back of the net as the visitors snatched a 1-0 win to take back to Johannesburg for the second leg next weekend.
Chiefs scored the only goal of the game in the first half through the boot of Serbian striker Samir Nurkovic, after he was played in by young midfielder Njabulo Blom from the right flank. The goal was initially ruled out as offside, but VAR (video assistant referee) overturned the decision as the South African club celebrated a crucial goal away from home.
Chiefs goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma had an excellent game, making crucial saves in both halves to deny the hosts who were constantly attacking.
Chiefs are the only team left in the competition who have not won the Champions League and they are determined to make history. The dogged display against Wydad was clear that they will put their bodies on the line to ensure that they get their hands on the trophy.
It won’t be an easy task, though, with Wydad expected to give up a good fight in the second leg.
Chiefs did not have new coach Stuart Baxter on the bench due to the fact that he was unable to secure his work permit, but he travelled with the team and was in the stands to watch the team.