CASABLANCA – Zouhair el Moutaraji was the star with two goals as Wydad Casablanca beat Egyptian club Al Ahly 2-0 on Monday to win the CAF Champions League and complete a Moroccan double in Africa this season.
Renaissance Berkane won the second-tier CAF Confederation Cup on May 20 and meets Wydad in the CAF Super Cup.
Wydad manager Walid Regragui promoted El Moutaraji from the bench for the title decider and it proved a masterful feat as he scored a brilliant goal after 15 minutes and again after 48 minutes in Casablanca.
It was Wydad’s third time to conquer Africa in the premier class, also lifting the trophy in 1992 and 2017, and the second triumph also came against Ahly.
Record-breaking 10-time champion Ahly, who was aiming for a record-breaking third consecutive title, had plenty of possession but was wiped out by a clean finish.
It was also a disappointing result for Ahly’s South African-born manager, Pitso Mosimane, who was hoping to become the first manager to win Africa’s premier club competition three times in a row.
Wydad and Ahly showed a change from the teams that drew in the semi-final second leg against Angolan Petro Luanda and Algerian Entente Setif respectively to reach the final.
French-born Regragui preferred El Moutaraji over Badie Aouk in midfield, the latter being one of nine substitutes.
Ahly centre-back Mohamed Abdelmonem suffered a groin injury and Mosimane promoted another Egyptian international, veteran Ayman Ashraf.
Nearly 40,000 Wydad supporters chanted, danced, cheered and waved flags as the teams entered the pitch, including FIFA President Gianni Infantino.
Ahly was allocated 10,000 tickets, but only a few thousand fans made it through North Africa to witness the club’s peak season.