Petro de Luanda head coach Alexandre Santos says their run in the CAF Champions League this season proves they can now compete with the giants of the continent.
Petro were eliminated at the final hurdle against the Botola Pro giants after a 1-1 draw in Casablanca on Friday which resulted in the 4-2 aggregate scoreline as Wydad secured their fifth Champions League final.
With the pedigree the Moroccan league champions hold in the competition they were clear favourites and despite not dominating either game, their tactical understanding and know-how of continental football proved decisive against the side who shocked Mamelodi Sundowns in the quarter-finals.
At the final whistle, the statistics read that Petro held 57% possession of the ball at the Stade Mohamed V and arguably were the better side, which Santos says they can take heart from and build on it going into the 2022/23 campaign – where they are likely to compete again as they are on course to win the Girabola title.
“More than a good second-leg, we gave a demonstration of strength and ability and a demonstration of why we are here in the semi-final. We had more possession, more opportunities, more shots, and of course, 3-1 they tried to control,” Santos said after the game.
“It was very good, very proud of my players, very proud of this club and it was a real demonstration of Petro’s strength and that we are here for the [long-run], we can do the same or better, knowing that this year was a great international season and of great value for all players and for the entire organisation and for the club.
“We really showed the ability we are and the pride we have in being Petro and in being a team from Angola that is having a brilliant season and that shows real strength here.”
The Portuguese coach ended speculation surrounding his future after signing a new one-year contract extension with the Angolan giants last week.