Saturday, June 26
*Kaizer Chiefs (South Africa) vs Wydad Casablanca (Morocco)
(Kaizer lead 1-0)
*Al Ahly (Egypt) Vs Esperance (Tunisia)
(Al Ahly lead 1-0)
South African giants Kaizer Chiefs are just 90 minutes away from reaching their first ever CAF Champions League final.
The club formed in 1970, playing their first Champions League semis, will be fancying their chances having won the first leg in Casablanca thanks to Samir Nurkovic first half strike.
They started the 2020/21 continental season right from scratch – They beat Cameroon’s PWD Bamenda in preliminary round before eliminating Angola’s De Agosto at the first round to storm the lucrative groups.
They finished second in Group B with nine points which was topped by today’s opponents Wydad, but above Horoya and Petro de Luanda to reach knockout.
At the quarterfinal stage, Kaizer Chiefs ousted Tanzania’s Simba SC 4-3 on aggregate.
The Amakhosi will now look to extend their stay when they host Wydad at FNB Stadium.
“We are playing against one of the strongest teams on the continent, we’ve learnt quite a few things from them. At the same time, we also surprised them and showed them a thing or two and showed that we are good enough to compete at this level,” says Chiefs coach Arthur Zwane as quoted by club website.
“Getting a goal away was very important for us. Coming to South Africa they will be a different team in terms of approach, because they will be chasing the game. But our players have been awesome this week, very committed and focused, and also showing lots of discipline.”
“We know our supporters are so excited and really want us to go through to the final and whenever we go out there, we are always representing them.
“But we would like to focus more on the game, than on the hype outside. We also know we have a lot of challenges in our country at the moment in terms of Coronavirus. What is key is ensuring everyone is focused on the tactics and on the planning going forward. It’s been so far so good in terms of the response of the players. Everyone is 110% focused and looking forward to the second leg.”
Kaizer will seek to become the third South African side to storm the final of the CAF Champions League after Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates.
Despite falling to Kaizer 1-0 earlier in the groups as well, Wydad will bank on their recent history against the South African clubs in this competiton.
They eliminated PSL side Mamelodi Sundowns twice – 2017 and 2019 at this stage.
Wydad, who topped Group B, eliminated MC Alger in the quarterfinal this year.
They have won the competition twice – 1992 and 2017. However, they lost to Al Ahly at this stage last season and were beaten finalists a season before after Esperance were declare champions when the second leg was abandoned.
Elsehwere, Al Ahly face Esperance as Pitso Mosimane look to defend his crown.