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Wydad become African champions

CASABLANCA, MOROCCO (AFP) – Zouhair el Moutaraji was the two-goal star as Wydad Casablanca defeated Egyptian outfit Al Ahly 2-0 on Monday to win the CAF Champions League and complete a Moroccan club double in Africa this season.

Renaissance Berkane won the second-tier CAF Confederation Cup on May 20 and will face Wydad for the CAF Super Cup.

Wydad coach Walid Regragui promoted El Moutaraji from the bench for the title decider and it proved a masterstroke as he netted after 15 minutes with a brilliant strike and again on 48 minutes in Casablanca.

It was the third time Wydad have conquered Africa in the premier competition, lifting the trophy in 1992 and 2017 as well, and the second triumph also came against Ahly. Record 10-time champions Ahly, seeking a record third straight title, had plenty of possession but were undone by clinical finishing. It was also a disappointing outcome for South Africa-born Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane, who had hoped to become the first coach to win the premier African club competition three consecutive times.

Close to 40,000 dancing, cheering, flag-waving Wydad supporters greeted the teams as they entered the pitch, with FIFA president Gianni Infantino among those looking on. Ahly were allocated 10,000 tickets, but only a couple thousand supporters flew across north Africa to attend.

Wydad attacked from the kick-off and after rattling the woodwork, went ahead as El Moutaraji justified his promotion. He sent the Moroccans ahead with a swerving thunderbolt which flew over El Shenawy and into the net.

Wydad doubled the lead early in the second half and once again El Moutaraji was the executioner, after a sweeping move. His first shot from close range was parried by El Shenawy, but the Moroccan reacted quickest to push the rebound into the net.

Wydad midfielder Yahya Jabrane celebrates with his teammates. PHOTO: AFP
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