Samir Nurkovic scored with Kaizer Chiefs’ only shot on target in the 34th minute to beat Wydad Casablanca 1-0 in the 2020/21 CAF Champions League semifinal first-leg match at Stade Mohammed V on Saturday evening.
The AmaKhosi put in a resolute defensive display in a game that saw the hosts dominate possession. However, the Moroccan side failed to score. The Chiefs made it count with their only real chance in their CAF Champions League semifinal clash.
The South African club will carry a huge advantage going into the second-leg. They will be heading home having an away goal in the bag.
Wydad bossed the game from the get-go and there were early signs that Bruce Bvuma would be a busy man in the Chiefs goal.
Bvuma pulled off a superb save to deny Muaid Ellafi from finding the back of the net with his header attempt.
The stop proved integral to the outcome of the match. On the next counter-attack, Njabulo Blom found Samir Nurkovic who thumped the ball into the back of the net to give the Chiefs the advantage.
The assistant’s flag was initially raised for offside, but after a swift VAR review, the goal rightfully stood.
Bvuma was called into action once more on the cusp of half-time. Ayman El Hassouni was threatening throughout. The Chiefs shot-stopper had to be at his best to keep out the Moroccan’s free-kick attempt.
El Hassouni was a constant threat and forced Bvuma into another fine save in the 64th minute. This time the skilful midfielder hit a powerful shot on target from range but Bvuma ready for it.
Chiefs trying to save their season
Wydad continued to dominate proceedings with constant relentless pressure. But Chiefs stood firm to take a massive step towards a first CAF Champions League final appearance.
It is amazing to think of all that the Chiefs have achieved in their maiden CAFCL appearance. They are just 90 minutes away from a place in the final of Africa’s premier club competition.
Chiefs fans can be proud of their team who clearly found it difficult to cope with the busy schedule as they only managed to finish eighth in the South African premiership. Reaching this far in the Champions League proves that they have the quality to play against the best teams in the continent.
The second leg is set to take place at FNB Stadium in Soweto on Saturday, June 26. The aggregate winner will face either Esperance de Tunis or defending champions Al Ahly in this year’s final.
Ahly also managed to come away with an away win that puts them in the driver’s seat going back home to Cairo.