November 5, 2011The thirst for a second title when Maghrebian duo, Wydad Athletic Club of Morocco and Tunisia’s Esperance face off in the first leg final of the 2011 Orange CAF Champions League at the Mohamed V Stadium in Stadium in Casablanca.The two teams have annexed Africa’s most sought after club competition once; Wydad in 1992 and Esperance two years later and there can be no better a moment for the second title than now.The first leg will serve the third meeting between the two sides after the group phase. The encounter does not only rekindle the dominance of North African side the continental club championships but also rekindles the age-long rivalry between Morocco and Tunisia as far as the globular leather is concerned.It serves a miniature of the 2004 final of the Africa Cup of Nations, which Tunisia won and a repeat of the 1999 final of the CAF Champions League between Wydad’s city rivals, Raja Athletic Club and Esperance, which the Moroccans went on to win 4-3 on penalties.Despite winning the title once, Esperance have made the mark having the better of the two sides regarding experience in the competition. It will be the fifth time in 17-years that the “Blood and Gold” will be making a final appearance against one in the entire history of Wydad – 1992, when they won the title.Against the backdrop of being last year’s losing finalists, the Tunisians are hoping to make up for their long wait for the $1.5 Million prize money and the ticket to represent the continent at the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in December.From the onset, Esperance have made public their desire for the title. After losses in 1999, 2000 and 2010, the “Blood and Gold” have touted this season their best moment yet after easing past Al Ahly (Egypt) and the absence of TP Mazembe (DR Congo), the recent winners.Under Nabil Maaloul, the Tunisians have been have been in good shape and the fact that Wydad have yet to lose at the 67,000-capacity favourite grounds make the clash very cagey. During the group phase, the two sides settled for a 1-1 draw in the opening Group B encounter at the same venue.However, Wydad will be seeking for a convincing win to boost their chances ahead of the second leg. The “Red and Whites” have not been consistent on the CAF Champions League landscape after having not surpassed the second round stage since the title in 1992.Congolese-import Fabrice Nguessi and Beninois Jean Louis Pascal Angam are among the star performers of Wydad in their shocking journey to the final and are very much aware of the importance of a convincing result in the first leg.Esperance have received a major boost by the return to fitness of defender Harrison Afful and midfielder Wajdi Bouazzi for the trip to Casablanca. Together with the esperience of captain of Oussama Darragi, Mejdi Traoui, Youssef Msakni, Khaled Korbi and Wlaid Hicheri from last year’s competition, the moment appears to have arrived for the young Esperance team. The second leg will take place in Tunis on November 12.Source: CAFPhoto by: tixup.com