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CAF Champions League

'We can match Wydad Casablanca in Caf Champions League' - Kaizer Chiefs' Baxter

15:14 BST 10/06/2021
Stuart Baxter, Kaizer Chiefs, June 2021
The 67-year-old tactician stated Amakhosi will be the hunter as he looks to end the club's six-year trophy drought

New Kaizer Chiefs head coach Stuart Baxter is optimistic about Amakhosi's chances of defeating Wydad Casablanca in the Caf Champions League semi-finals.

The Soweto giants are set to face the Moroccan side in the two-legged semi-final with the first-leg game scheduled to be played on June 19 in Casablanca, while the second-leg match will take place on 26 June in Johannesburg.

This will be Baxter's first assignment after being reappointed Amakhosi head coach on Wednesday and he will look to guide the team to the final for the first time in the club's history. 

Baxter explained that he is fully aware of what to expect in those two crucial games with Chiefs having defeated Wydad 1-0 in their last meeting which was a Champions League Group B match at FNB Stadium two months ago

“It is a challenge for me there, as I have to identify a couple of things tactically for these games. It is a strong opponent, but we have shown in the home game that we can match them," Baxter told the club's media department. 

"We have to improve on our first leg and maybe tactically and mentally we have to grind out a result there, which allows us to bring them back here and have a real go at them."

Chiefs lost 4-0 to Wydad in their Group B reverse fixture in February this year with the match being played in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso due to restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic imposed by Morocco on travelers from South Africa.

The winner on aggregate between Chiefs and Wydad will take on either Egyptian champions Al Ahly or Tunisian club Esperance de Tunis in the final next month.

Baxter, who remains the last coach to win a major trophy with Chiefs in 2015, is keen to bring back the glory days at the Naturena-based giants. 

“Now, we are the hunter. Gradually, we became the hunted in my first stint. The whole club handled the success very well," he added. 

"The memories I have, from lifting trophies to seeing young players come through and become stars, and seeing the club develop everything at that time, they were great memories.

"For me, it was more about the happiness that it created. The bonding, the supporters identified so strongly with the way we played. Those stand out for me, as well as the actual lifting of the trophies."