Wydad Casablanca 2-1 Mamelodi Sundowns: Anele Ngcongca grabs away goal as Brazilians suffer narrow defeat
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Two goals from Salaheddine Saidi and Aouk Badi helped Wydad Al-Ouma edge out the Brazilians, who netted through Anele Ngcongca

Wydad Casablanca recorded a 2-1 victory over Mamelodi Sundowns in the Caf Champions League semi-final first-leg match which was played in Rabat, Morocco on Friday night.

The Brazilians were hoping to secure a positive result against Wydad Al-Ouma, who were undefeated in their last 19 home matches in the continental tournament.

Pitso Mosimane adopted an offensive approach as Thapelo Morena, Themba Zwane, Gaston Sirino and Lebohang Maboe all started in the 2016 Champions League winners' attack.

On the other hand, Mosimane's counterpart Faouzi Benzarti included lethal forward Mohamed Nahiri in the starting line-up.

Nahiri had scored the only of the match as Wydad secured a 1-0 win over Sundowns in their final Group A match in Rabat earlier this month and it was his sixth goal of the tournament.

The match got off to a lively start as both teams launched attacks in search of an early goal and it was the hosts, who threatened first through Salaheddine Saidi.

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The midfielder forced Sundowns goalkeeper Denis Onyango into a good save before Lebohang Maboe hit the frame of the goal after the Wydad defence was exposed.

The deadlock was broken five minutes before the half-hour mark and it was Wydad Al-Ouma, who scored when Saidi fired home from close range to make it 1-0 to Wydad.

Benzarti's charges then took control of the match and they pressed Sundowns, whose keeper Onyango was forced to produce two great saves to deny Michael Babatunde and Ismail Haddad.

However, the 2017 Champions League winners were left to rue those two chances as Anele Ngcongca netted with a header to make it 1-1 after the hosts' defence was caught ball watching in the box.

The score was 1-1 at the interval with Ngcongca having grabbed a crucial away goal for Sundowns just before half-time and it was the defender's maiden goal for the Tshwane giants.

It took only two minutes for the hosts Wydad to restore their lead in the second half as Aouk Badi scored from close range to make it 2-1 to Wydad much to the delight of the home crowd.

This did not come as a surprise as Wydad Al-Ouma had scored the majority of their goals (25%) in the first 15 minutes of the second half in their Champions League games this season.

The hosts then suffered a blow as their star forward Nahiri was booked and he is set to miss the second-leg clash in Tshwane next weekend.

The Brazilians played on the counter following the introduction of speedy forward Phakamani Mahlambi with the Moroccan giants doing most of the attacking as they searched for more goals.

Sundowns attacker Themba Zwane nearly scored an own-goal when his headed clearance hit the upright in the latter stages of the match.

Nevertheless, the match ended in a 2-1 victory in favour of Wydad, who were unable to extend their lead in the dying minutes of the game.

The second-leg match will take place in Tshwane next week Saturday and the winner on aggregate will face either Tunisian giants Esperance de Tunis or DR Congolese side TP Mazembe in the final.

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