By the end of today, we will know which club will be representing Africa at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2017 in December, with Al Ahly and Wydad Casablanca all set to fight it out for that prize in the second leg of the CAF CL (Champions League).
In an entertaining first leg, Momen Zakaria opened the scoring for the Egyptian club before Achraf Bencharki equalised for Wydad to leave the CAF CL final perfectly poised.
After recovering from the blow of conceding an early goal, Houcine Ammouta’s charges defended stoutly in the first leg of the CAF CL, while Mohamed Ounajem and Achraf Bencharki worked their magic up front to allow Wydad to head back to Casablanca with a positive result.
The question is, what strategy will the Moroccan outfit adopt for the return? A goalless draw would be enough for them to clinch the title. Should Ammouta adopt a defensive gameplan, however, it would hand the initiative to their Egyptian opponents. Given that attack is the best form of defence, it would be no surprise to see Bencharki and Co push forward in numbers, an approach they took in knocking out USM Alger in the semis following another first-leg stalemate.
Al Ahly have a good away record in the competition, however. Held 2-2 at home in the first leg of their last-eight tie against Esperance, they went to Tunisia and won 2-1, a scoreline they would be only too happy to repeat on Saturday.
Most of the attention in the first leg of the CAF CL was focused on the all-Moroccan duel between Walid Azaro and Bencharki, with the latter proving his worth again by finding the back of the net. The scorer of four goals in the competition so far, Azaro will be anxious to upstage his compatriot in the return and win the title for his club. With five to his name already, Bencharki will be equally as keen to claim the limelight.