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Caf Champions Final: Waydad Set up Another Clash with Al Ahly, as Mamelodi Sundowns Bow Out

May, 21 2023.

The stage is now set for another all-North African final in the CAF Champions League after the holders, Wydad Casablanca played out a pulsating draw with South African PSL giants, Memalodi Sundowns on Saturday.

Sundowns crashed out of the Champions League on the away goals rule, after Mothobi

Mvala's own goal gifted Wydad an unlikely victory reports.

Following a goalless first leg in Casablanca, the two teams drew 2-2 in a semi-final second-leg clash played at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria.

Meaning, the Moroccan giants won the semi-final tie on the away goals rule after a 2-2 aggregate scoreline.

Themba Zwane and Peter Shalulile were on target for Sundowns in the 50th and 79th minute; while Wydad right-back Ayoub El Amloud had on 72 minutes cancelled Zwane's opener.

After Shalulile's goal, Mvala then beat his own goalkeeper Ronwen Wlliams to hand a huge advantage to the visitors, which they preserved for the rest of the match.

It was a disappointing end to Sundowns' season in Africa after a promising campaign. Like in recent seasons, they were ruthless in the group stage and were again on fire in the quarter-finals. But the dream to conquer Africa came to a crashing halt in their own backyard.

Saturday's result, also completed an unsuccessful week for Premier Soccer League teams in Caf club competitions after Marumo Gallants were booted out of the Confederation Cup at the semi-final stage by Young Africans of Tanzania, on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Record champions Al Ahly of Egypt had on Friday night qualified for their fourth consecutive CAF Champions League final, by edged out Tunisia’s Esperance 1-0 in Cairo, to qualify 4-0 on aggregate.

Hussein Elshahat scored the solitary goal for the Red Devils in the first half to secure the home victory and progress to their sixth final in seven seasons.

After a conservative start, Ahly broke the deadlock after 21 minutes, and it was the South African wizard Percy Tau who was the chief orchestrator again.

After his brace in the first leg, Tau turned provider this time around, sending Elshahat through on goal with a brilliant defence-splitting pass, the latter clipping the ball over the advancing keeper.

Esperance had a chance to respond three minutes on the turn, needing five goals now to turn the tide in their favour.

However, Mohamed Ali Ben Hamouda saw his effort on the half-volley deflected for a corner.

The last final between the Maghreb duo, was a one off, and was controversially played in Morocco; Ahly eventually lost it 0-3 and CAF has since taken a decision to put on hold its own policy of playing the final of either of its Inter-Club Championships at neutral venues.

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