Rabat - With the second leg of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) championship final only days away, Morocco’s Wydad Athlétic Club (WAC) and its Egyptian rival, Al Ahly, have sent each other a volley of messages on social media.
Rabat – With the second leg of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) championship final only days away, Morocco’s Wydad Athlétic Club (WAC) and its Egyptian rival, Al Ahly, have sent each other a volley of messages on social media.
The two teams are set to clash on Saturday in Casablanca at Mohammed V Stadium where one of the teams will be declared the 2017 tournament champion.
Houcine Amouta, the Moroccan coach of Wydad, accused the Egyptian players of intentionally injuring Mohamed Ounajem, Wydad’s brilliant forward.
Throughout the tournament, Ounajem had consistently been one of the star players of the Moroccan team.
Playing against Al Ahly on Saturday at Burj Al Arab Stadium in Alexandria, Ounajem made a brilliant assist to Achraf Bencherki, who scored the team’s only goal with a beautiful header.
However, Ounajem left the pitch during the first half of the game due to an injury. Speaking to Moroccan media outlets afterward, Amouta accused the Egyptian players of targeting Ounajem on purpose.
“Unfortunately they purposefully injured him because he was very dangerous,” he said.
Amouta, 42, has previously coached the FUS of Rabat and Qatar’s team Assad, winning titles for the latter. Despite losing a key player, the outspoken manager expressed optimism that any of his players would give a great performances in Ounajem’s absence, as is expected in a game like this.
Amouta made it clear that his team has no option but to win, adding that the club will do its utmost to keep the cup in Casablanca.
“All Morocco is mobilized so that Wydad can win a cup, which Moroccan teams haven’t won for a long time,” he said.
The last Moroccan team to win the CAF Champions League title was Wydad‘s longtime rival, Raja Club Athlétic (RCA), in 1999.
In the years since, Moroccan teams subsequently failed to reach the finals, except for Raja in 2002 and Wydad in 2011.
On Saturday, Wydad will have a chance to catch up with RCA and add a second title to its list of accolades. Although Wydad managed to bring last week’s game to a 1-1 tie in the first leg, Al Ahly remains a tough competitor with 8 prior CAF Champions League titles.
While the Egyptian media is optimistic that their team can snatch another title from the mouth of victory in Casablanca, Wydad will have to prove them wrong.