Wydad Casablanca players undeterred despite first leg defeat to Ahly

Ahram Online , Monday 5 Jun 2023

Wydad Casablanca players are confident they can overcome a 2-1 deficit against Ahly in the African Champions League final's second leg.

Wydad s Moroccan midfielder Yahya Jabrane (L) and Ahly s Egyptian midfielder Hamdy Fathy vie for the ball during the first-leg final football match of the CAF Champions League, between Egypt s Al-Ahly and Morocco s Wydad AC, at Cairo International Stadium on June 4, 2023. AFO


Yahya Jabrane expressed disappointment with the result but remained optimistic about winning the title in the return leg in Casablanca.

"We hope we can come out with the least damage, the result for me this was not the positive result we were looking for. But scoring an away goal gives us more confidence and is surely much better that having to score two or three," Jabrane said.

Ahly led 2-0 after 59 minutes with goals from Percy Tau and Mahmoud Kahraba, and Wydad scored a late consolation goal by Saifeddine Bouhra in the 86th minute to keep the tie open for the return leg.

"We will forget today's match and think about the return match where we will be more ready and present. Yesterday's match remains a loss however it was and we must rectify the situation," he said.

Substitute Mohamed Ounajem echoed Jabrane's feelings.

“The result is positive and huge we hope our fans will attend in force," Ounajem said.

"Every match has its nature. For us our first goal is to win the tournament, we will be fully prepared and we know our fans who do not hesitate to support us, they are our passion and number one for us and we hope to be up to it and dedicate the title to them and all Moroccans," he added.

In the same context, Zouhair El Moutaraji said, "We thank the players for the effort they made in the match, we managed to score a goal and we will play more comfortably in Casablanca, and we promise our fans that we will give our all and today's result will help us achieve the title."

Bouly Sambou praised the impact of Saifeddine Bouhra, who scored Wydad's only goal in the first leg.

"Bouhra's reaction was what we needed as a group. In most matches the players on the substitute bench are the ones who make the difference, and today Bouhra set the example," Sambou said.

"It is a positive result, because we will be in the midst of our fans who will give us enthusiasm and strength, and we will give our all to score goals,” he concluded.

The return leg of the Champions League final will be played at the Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca on 11 June.

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