North African giants, Al Ahly and Wydad Athletic Club, will clash at the Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca in the final of the TotalEnergies CAF Champions League on Monday, May 30, 2022 at exactly 19: 00 hrs GMT.
This will be the 11th time both teams are meeting but for today, each with varied dreams and ambitions despite fighting for the same trophy.
The two teams emerged as title contenders after a grueling and competitive 2021-22 season, two years after their last meeting in the competition.
Ahly is in search of a record 11th Champions League title and a record third in a row, while Wydad is in search of its third piece of continental kingship, five years after clinching its second title.
The Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca will offer the platform for this epic battle between Africa’s best as the entire continent sits on the edge, keenly awaiting its 2022 champion, two days after Real Madrid won the UEFA Champions league.
Wydad will feel the wind of favor slightly blowing its way as the final is hosted on its home turf, a stadium where it has lost only once in the last 15 matches across all competitions.
The Moroccan giant, Wydad Athletic Club, is playing the final for the third time since its last conquest in 2017, where coincidentally, the team beat Ahly in the final when it was a two-legged affair.
After back-to-back losses in the semis over the last two seasons, the red Castles believe it is their time to be crowned kings of the continent with head coach Walid Regragui seeking his first continental title with the side, having been appointed last season.
Ahly on the other hand, is racing against history. The Egyptian Giant completed the coveted La Ashara last season, winning its 10th continental title, but the hunger for one more is as fresh as the team’s hunger for the 10th.
A lot is at stake for the Egyptian club as it could also make history by winning the title for a third consecutive time while head coach Pitso Mosimane is looking to become the second coach in history to win the Champions League four times.
These two sides have met 10 times before with Ahly standing tall on head-to-head record, having won four times and lost two, the remaining four ending in draws. Half of Ahly’s wins have come away, while it also lost an equal number in Morocco. One of the four draws was also in Morocco.
Their last meeting was during the 2019-20 season where they met in the semi-finals of the Champions League, Ahly winning both home and away assignments. The Egyptians won 2-0 at the Mohamed V Complex before finishing the job in Cairo with a 3-1 victory.
However, both of these matches were played behind closed doors as it was during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Their last meeting in the final was in 2017 when Wydad won its second and most recent title with a 2-1 victory for the Moroccans. They drew 1-1 in the first leg before Walid El Karti scored the winner in a 1-0 result in Casablanca.
Still in that season, coach Mosimane faced Wydad, when he was coach at Mamelodi Sundowns as his side lost 3-2 on penalties in the quarter finals. Sundowns won 1-0 at home but lost by a similar margin in the return tie in Casablanca to force the game to penalties after a 1-1 aggregate draw.
READ ALSO: I Didn’t Expect BoG To Hike The Policy Rate, The Problem We’re Facing Isn’t High Liquidity – Economist
Leave a Reply