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HomeCAF Champions LeagueNine-Man Sundowns Play To Draw With Champions Wydad In Casablanca

Nine-Man Sundowns Play To Draw With Champions Wydad In Casablanca

Ten-man Mamelodi Sundowns managed to come out unscathed in Casablanca as they drew 0-0 against champions Wydad Atheltic Club in their first-leg semi-final at the Stade Mohamed V.

Sundowns started the game the brighter of the two sides and showcased why they’ve become one of the most fearsome sides on the continent with some slick passing play and keeping the ball away from the home side.

The WAC supporters were left in disbelief for large spells of the opening half and it was dead silence when Peter Shalulile put the ball at the back of the net inside the opening 15 minutes, but it was correctly ruled out after a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) check.

But the technology went on to play another crucial role in the opening half when Neo Maema received a straight red after he was adjudged to have made a studs-up challenge with excessive force – two minutes before the break.

However, the home side couldn’t make use of their numerical advantage and went closest to opening the scoring through last season’s finalist hero Zouheir El-Moutaraji but Ronwen Williams reacted quickly to maintain his clean sheet.

Things got from bad to worse though, as returning playmaker, Marcelo Allende was sent off with another VAR check for a similar incident in second half stoppage time.

Ronwen Williams of Sundowns claims ball from Amine Aboulfath of Wydad during the CAF Champions League 2022/23 semifinal, first leg between Wydad Casablanca and Sundowns at Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca, Morocco on 13 May 2023 © Nour Akanja/BackpagePix

Sundowns looked content to keep the game goalless, keeping possession but not taking too many risks as they held onto the score to take to the second leg at Loftus Versfeld next week, with a place in the final, likely against Al Ahly, awaiting the winner of the tie.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.