Kaizer Chiefs will set their sights on qualifying for the CAF Champions League final in their first-ever appearance at the tournament.
They meet Wydad Casablanca in 2020-21 CAFCL first-leg semifinal match at Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca on Saturday evening.
The AmaKhosi booked their spot in the final four of this season’s competition with a 4-3 aggregate win over Simba after a thrilling performance at home in Soweto in the first leg.
The South African giants lost 3-0 in Tanzania in the second leg but had done enough to schedule another meeting with Wydad in this season’s competition.
Morocco’s Wydad edged past Algeria’s MC Alger 2-1 on aggregate in the quarterfinal stage to keep their hopes of winning a third Champions League trophy alive.
Chiefs and Wydad have already met on two occasions this year in Group C of the CAFCL. The Moroccans thumped Chiefs 4-0 at Stade du 4 Août in Ouagadougou in the first meeting but lost 1-0 in the reverse fixture at FNB Stadium.
Chiefs come into this weekend’s match as underdogs given they are the only team in the final four to have never won the African title. The club also had a difficult league season in which they could only manage an eighth-place finish and will not be competing in Africa’s CAFCL or CAF Confederation Cup.
The only hope for the AmaKhosi to play continental football next season is by winning the Champions League, which will be a stiff task.
Kaizer Chiefs will look to save their season
Gavin Hunt was replaced as head coach by Stuart Baxter who will not be in the dug-out when they face Wydad AC in the first-leg on Saturday as he is yet to receive his work permit.
Instead, it will be the duo of Arthur Zwane and Dillon Sheppard on the touchline. The Chiefs assistant coaches guided the Glamour Boys to back-to-back DStv Premiership wins to end the campaign on a positive note.
Chiefs will be hoping to carry on that form against Faouzi Benzarti’s side.
Chiefs forward Lazalous Kambole will also seek redemption in the competition on Saturday. The Zambia international lost out on the CAFCL title during his time with ZESCO United in 2016.
“What I have learnt is that doing well away from home is important,” said Kambole. “Now that we are starting away from home, we need a positive result. A win or a draw with goals will give us an advantage. Doing well in Morocco will mean that we are likely to progress.
“Chiefs have both the will to succeed and the know-how on Wydad. We are hungry as a team and have done our homework, but we know it’s not going to be easy. We are playing against a very difficult side away from home, we know what to expect and we will strategise on how we can gain an advantage,” he added.
The aggregate winner will face either Esperance de Tunis or defending champions Al Ahly in this year’s final.