Johannesburg - Wydad Casablanca of Morocco need a point at
Zesco United of Zambia on Wednesday to win Group A and set up a CAF Champions
League semi-final showdown with Zamalek of Egypt.
But if the 1992 African champions lose at Levy Mwanawasa
Stadium in Ndola, they will drop to second spot and face Group B winners
Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa instead.
The psychological advantage ahead of the final-round match
lies with Wydad as they overcame Zesco more comfortably than the 2-0 scoreline
suggests in Morocco two months ago.
Walid El Karty nodded Wydad into an early lead and a second
half own-goal by Kenyan David Owino sealed the fate of under-the-cosh Zesco.
Coached by former Real Madrid manager and Liverpool striker
John Toshack, Wydad top the table with 10 points despite a mid-group crisis.
After defeating ASEC Mimosas in the Ivory Coast and Zesco,
the 2011 Champions League runners-up took only one point of a possible six off
struggling giants Al Ahly of Egypt.
Also read: Chisom Chikatara released to join Wydad
And they battled to translate dominance over ASEC at home
into goals until Congo Brazzaville-born Fabrice Ondama scored in the final
minute to deliver a crucial 2-1 win.
That result, and Zesco holding record eight-time African
champions Ahly 2-2 away, eliminated the Egyptian and Ivorian clubs from the
Zesco have exceeded expectations by reaching the semi-finals
although coach George Lwandamina remains worried about concentration lapses in
"Our defence has a tendency to fall asleep after we
score and this allows opponents back into matches," said Lwandamina, who
doubles as the caretaker national coach.
What the Zambian outfit do have in abundance, though, is
consistent goal scorers with Idris Mbombo from the Democratic RepubIic of Congo
scoring five in this Champions League campaign.
Clatous Chama and Kenyan Jesse Were have notched four each
and John Ching'andu three, and Zesco struck six goals in two previous home
Failing to reach the semi-finals cost Ahly coach and former
Tottenham Hotspur manager Martin Jol his job amid safety concerns.
Netherlands-born Jol was threatened on social media and
furious supporters of the Cairo Red Devils reportedly reacted to the African
exit by trying to disrupt a training session.
Assistant coach Ossama Orabi has taken charge for the
meaningless midweek match against 1998 champions ASEC at Stade Robert Champroux
Another fixture where only pride is at stake involves
already-eliminated Enyimba of Nigeria and Sundowns in Port Harcourt. Zamalek
have a bye as Entente Setif of Algeria were disqualified.For
the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us
on Twitter and like our Facebook page.