Sundowns, Wydad rivalry rebooted

Downs' Themba Zwane will be coach Pitso Mosimane's trump card against Wydad Casablanca at Lucas Moripe Stadium. /Veli Nhlapo
Downs' Themba Zwane will be coach Pitso Mosimane's trump card against Wydad Casablanca at Lucas Moripe Stadium. /Veli Nhlapo

Mamelodi Sundowns' growing rivalry with Moroccan club Wydad Casablanca is about to take a fresh turn as the teams prepare to meet for a fifth time in two years.

The Brazilians are set to take on the North Africans in a Group A clash at the
Lucas Moripe Stadium tomorrow (9pm).

The two African giants first met in 2017 in the quarterfinals of the CAF Champions League.

While the South Africans won the first-leg 1-0 at home, Wydad, the eventualtitle winners, won the reverse fixture by the same margin and advanced via a penalty shootout.

In 2018, the rivals were drawn in Group C and met again in the group stages where Sundowns crashed out of the tournament as Wydad and Horoya AC advanced.

In their two ties they drew 1-1 in Pretoria and then Wydad edged Sundowns 1-0 in Rabat.

Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane admits that the battles against Wydad have been tight and bruising affairs.

"They know how to win a match. They know how to get a result, and always take a point from us," Mosimane said.

"Last year, due to our mistake, they stole a point from us [in 1-1 draw] but the previous year we beat them. Their fans are always a sea of red, 70,000 people at the stadium.

"Against them we need to play with speed. They are big boys and have the right technique. We need the interplay and to push the ball in between the lines."

As the big match looms, the eight-time Absa Premiership champions look to bounce back from their 2-1 loss to Lobi Stars last weekend.

Mosimane will rely on the sage-heads in his team to deliver a positive result.

"We need Gaston Sirino on form; we need Themba Zwane on form. Guys like Lebo Maboe, he's young and works hard, but you need guys who have been there."

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.