July 7, 2022

Image credit: ESPN

Wydad Casablanca have qualified for the African Champions League final in Morocco

Following a 1-1 draw against Petro Atletico at home on Friday, Wydad Casablanca qualified for the African Champions League final. After a 3-1 triumph in Luanda in the first leg last weekend, the Moroccan team advanced 4-2 on aggregate.

In the final in Morocco at the end of the month, Wydad will face either holders Al Ahly or Algeria’s Entente Setif.

Ahly leads their semi-final tie 4-0 going into the second leg on Saturday (19:00 GMT).

Petro of Angola needed to score three goals in Casablanca to have a chance of reaching the final for the first time, and they surprised everyone by taking the lead in the 21st minute when Brazilian import Gleison scored with a long-range drive after cutting in from the right-wing. However, Amine Ferhane, a centre-back for Wydad, equalised from a corner seven minutes later.

After that, Petro had more possession but was unable to score in front of a raucous, mostly red-clad home crowd.

In the second half, substitute Yano came close with a long-range effort, and right at the death, keeper Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti made a fantastic double save to save a drive from Anderson Cruz and the rebound from Job.

Wydad is in their sixth Champions League final, with their most recent appearance in 2019 when they were defeated by the Esperance of Tunisia.

The final is scheduled for Monday, May 30 in Morocco, but Al Ahly has filed a complaint with the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the venue selection.

The Cairo club claims that the Confederation of African Football (Caf) decision “violates laws and regulations” and that Wydad will benefit from home advantage.

Caf believes that after Senegal withdrew from the competition, Morocco was the only option to host the match.

Wydad last won the title in 2017, defeating Ahly, the 10-time champion, 2-1 in a two-legged match.

Caf says talks are underway to return to the traditional home-and-away format from the current one-off final.