Ahly will be out for 'revenge' in CL final so we need to 'remain calm': Wydad coach

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Wednesday 31 May 2023

Ahly will be seeking "revenge" for their defeat in the last edition of the Champions League so we need to remain “calm and united,” stressed Wydad Casablanca’s coach Sven Vandenbroeck in statements to the media.

Moroccan team coach Sven Vandenbroeck
Moroccan team coach Sven Vandenbroeck


 “Ahly will be seeking revenge for last time. So, the most important thing for me is to remain calm and unified as a group. And I think individual solutions will play a key role in the confrontation,” the 43-year-old Belgian coach was quoted as saying by Moroccan website elbotola.com on Wednesday.

The Moroccan champs will be facing the Egyptian side in the first leg of the prestigious continental competition in Cairo on Sunday and in the second leg in Morocco a week later.

The clash between the two North African giants will be a repeat of the 2022 Champions League final, which saw the Moroccan side win 2-0 in Rabat in a controversial winner-takes-all final game.

“I don’t feel a huge pressure. It is logical to play for all titles when you take the charge of a team that has a long history of winning trophies,” added Vandenbroeck, who took charge of the Moroccan side less than a month ago.

The three-time African champs Wydad will be on course to win their fourth title in their sixth appearance in the prestigious tournament's final.

They reached the final after beating South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns on the away goal rule. Drawing 0-0 at home and 2-2 in Pretoria.

Meanwhile, Ahly, 10-time African champs, will be on course to win an 11 title in their 16th appearance in the tournament's final.

They secured their fourth successive Champions League final appearance with a commanding 4-0 aggregate victory over Esperance of Tunisia.

Counting on fans

“We passed Sundowns only on the away-goals advantage so our only advantage in the return match against Ahly will be our fans’ attendance,” the Wydad coach explained.

The Belgian tactician took charge of Wydad in early May after the sacking of Spanish boss Juan Carlos Garrido due to poor results in the domestic league and shaky performance in the early stages of the Champions League,

The Moroccan side laboured in reaching the semi-finals of the tournament in this edition after beating Simba of Tanzania on penalties in the quarters.

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