Pitso Mosimane hopes to break duck in Wydad

Mamelodi Sundowns have proved over the past few years to the rest of Africa that they are no pushovers in the CAF Champions League

Besides the fact that they were champions in 2016, the Brazilians have humiliated several teams along the way, notably Egyptian opposition.

Pitso Mosimane's charges were too good for Al Ahly in this year's quarterfinals with a 5-1 aggregate win.

They also beat Zamalek 3-1 on aggregate in the decider three years ago and continue to rip the opposition apart, especially in their own backyard in Pretoria.

But the battle continues, and it's in Morocco where they've found the going tough.

Sundowns have met Wydad Casablanca, the 2017 champions, six times since their first clash in 2017.

While Sundowns have held their own in Tshwane against Wydad - two wins and one draw - they've lost all their three away encounters by a 1-0 scoreline.

From these away results, the one thing that's weighing on Mosimane's mind is the fact that Sundowns have never scored on Wydad's turf.

Sundowns will have their chance to get on the score-sheet there when Wydad host them at Prince-Moulay Abdellah Stadium in tonight's semifinal first leg clash [9pm SA time].

The away goal could prove crucial as Masandawana will then take the advantage, with the return leg set for a week later.

It's therefore all to play for in the first leg, and Mosimane has acknowledged that breaking their duck in Morocco would stand them in good stead. "We haven't scored in Wydad . so we need to try to score, try to win," Mosimane said ahead of the match.

"Even if we don't win, 1-1 would be nice - try to score," he insisted. I've told the boys that, 'it's been too long guys and we have to score in Wydad'. So hopefully, we have a change of fortunes."

Mosimane, meanwhile, was the centre of attention when Sundowns last played Wydad in Morocco in March.

The ex-Bafana Bafana mentor had claimed Wydad are bad losers after Sundowns won 2-1 in Pretoria in the group stage.

Mosimane claimed that Wydad players like to threaten the referees and opposition players to force a win.

Before Wydad beat Sundowns 1-0 in the return leg, the home fans lashed out at Mosimane through a large banner bearing the words, "Great Country when teaching you, becoming corrupt when beating you".

This was in reference to Mosimane's frequent visits to Morocco, where he's been attending a CAF Pro Licence coaching course.

This time, Mosimane is hopeful he may have the last laugh. He'll look to attacking midfielder Themba Zwane, who has five goals in the competition, to deliver the much-needed goal.

Sundowns, however, must keep an eye on Wydad left- back Mohammed Nahiri, who has contributed five goals in their run.

What to expect from Wydad

Wydad are a tough nut to crack at home. They have kept eight clean sheets in their last 10 CAF Champions League matches.

In all competitions, Wydad have gone 36 matches without a defeat [29 wins, seven draws]. The last home match they lost was to fellow Moroccan side Raja Casablanca in the Botola Pro League over a year ago.

Sundowns beware, Wydad always score at home. In their last 10 matches in their own backyard, they have only failed to score just once, which was surprisingly in their goalless draw against Nigerian side Lobi Stars in the group stage this year.

What to expect from Downs

The truth is, Sundowns have their backs against the wall in Morocco, considering their poor away form in the competition. Sundowns have only won one game away in their last 10, which was 2-0 against Leones Vegetarianos of Equatorial Guinea late last year.

They have lost five, drew four and boast one win in their last 10 away matches.

Downs' chances of scoring against Wydad are also slim. Wydad, of course, are difficult at home, but Mosimane's job is even more daunting because Sundowns have failed to score in seven of their last 10 matches away in this competition.

Downs may make it difficult for Wydad by sitting back and leaving it to the hosts to take the game to them. This may leave Wydad vulnerable in counter-attacks.

Wydad v Downs past results


Sundowns 1 - 0 Wydad

Wydad  1 - 0 Sundowns


Sundowns 1 -1 Wydad

Wydad 1 - 0 Sundowns


Sundowns 2 - 1 Wydad

Wydad 1 - 0 Sundowns

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

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.