The Star Early Edition

Wy­dad park the bus for vic­tory


MOROCCAN gi­ants Wy­dad Casablanca are the cham­pi­ons of Africa hav­ing se­cured a 1-0 sec­ond-leg win over seven-time winners Al-Ahly in the CAF Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal played at the Mo­hammed V Com­plex in Casablanca on Satur­day evening. The sides headed into match on the back of a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Cairo last week­end.

Af­ter some fine work on the right side by Achraf Ben­charki, a well-timed header from 23-year-old Moroccan mid­fielder Walid Ek Karti found the back of the Egyp­tian team’s net in the 69th minute, head­inmg home Achraf Ben­charki’s de­flected cross from the right flank, to send the men from Cairo crash­ing to the sil­ver medal po­si­tion.

Fol­low­ing the goal, Wy­dad parked the prover­bial bus in front of their penalty area forc­ing Al-Ahly to adopt a long­ball at­tack­ing strat­egy.

The game was played in a typ­i­cally phys­i­cal style as Al-Ahly went into the match in des­per­ate need of an away goal.

This was the sec­ond time that Wy­dad have been African Cham­pi­ons, hav­ing won the Cham­pi­ons Cup in in 1992. They were run­ners-up to Espérance de Tu­nis in 2011.

Wy­dad now qual­ify to rep­re­sent Africa at the Fifa Club World Cup in the United Arab Emi­rates from De­cem­ber 6-16.

Both African fi­nal­ists tasted vic­tory over South African club sides this sea­son. Wy­dad beat Mamelodi Sun­downs in the quar­ter­fi­nal stage of the com­pe­ti­tion, while Al-Ahly ac­counted for Bid­vest Wits in the group stage. – ANA

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