Mosimane says Ahly lost CL final because of 'abnormal circumstances'

Ahram Online , Tuesday 31 May 2022

Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane blamed what he called "abnormal circumstances" for his side's 2-0 loss to Morocco's Wydad in the African Champions League final as he made a reference to CAF's decision to stage the one-off match in Casablanca.

Ahly players react during a trophy ceremony at the end of the CAF Champions League Soccer final soccer match between Morocco s Wydad Athletic Club and Egypt s Ahly, at the Mohammed V stadium, in Casablanca, Morocco, Monday, May 30, 2022 (Photo: AP)

Wydad enjoyed home advantage at their own Mohammed V Stadium, with Ahly looking at times intimated by the raucous atmosphere at the packed venue.

Wydad were egged on by their passionate and vociferous fans, with Ahly only having a few thousand supporters in the northern end of the stands.

Ahly had protested in vain against the decision of CAF to hold the match in Casablanca, arguing that it violated fair play standards. The African governing body said Morocco was the only bidder after Senegal had pulled out.

"The best team today is the one who lost," South African coach Mosimane, who led Ahly to back-to-back Champions League crowns, told the post-match news conference.

"We can only talk about winning or losing when we play on a neutral ground and when both sides have an equal number of fans. I think those who were behind this decision are happy today."

Zouhair El Moutaraji scored either side of the interval to give Wydad their third Champions League title and deny Ahly the chance of becoming the first team in the continent to win a hat-trick of straight triumphs.

Ahly looked disjointed throughout and only created a couple of scares in the last 10 minutes but were denied by two superb stops from Wydad keeper Reda Tagnaouti.

"Some people ask me about the formation and the game-plan because I lost, but I remind them that Al-Ahly beat Raja (in the quarter-finals) with the same formation," Mosimane added.

"Football is about scoring goals. Percy Tau missed an opportunity and so did Mohamed Sharif."

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