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Sunday, December 10, 2023

CAFCL: Wydad defeat AS Vita Club to move top of Group A

A second half own goal was enough for African club champions Wydad AC to secure a 1-0 CAF Champions League victory in Casablanca over DR Congo’s AS Vita Club on Friday. Wydad moved to the top of Group C with six points from three matches despite stiff competition from their Congolese opponents, who conceded when Wydad winger Mohammed Ounajem’s cross deflected off VClub defender Guy Magema and into his net. VClub remain on three points, only one back of Petro de Luanda and Algeria’s JS Kabylie in a tight group.

For long periods Wydad dominated possession and kept Les Dauphins Noirs pinned in their own half for long stretches but lacked answers to find a way past VClub goalkeeper Farid Ouédraogo. Junior Bouly Sambou posed the biggest threat to the Burkinabè shot stopper’s goal but luck was not on the Senegalese striker’s side with his bouncing header hitting the crossbar from a corner kick in the 37th minute.

Wydad, under new manager Juan Carlos Garrido in his second competitive match, were able to find a breakthrough in the 54th minute when Ounajem burst down the right flank and sent a low cross in. Ouédraogo was left wrong footed when a sliding Magema deflected Ounajem’s cross into the net.

Despite their dominance of the ball the victory never looked entirely secure for Wydad. VClub playmaker Marouf Tchakei picked out Jeremie Kalenda with a corner kick in the 65th minute but the defender’s volley went just wide. The visitors continued to make a final push but Wydad held on for maximum points in an effective if unconvincing victory.

Highlights from the match are below.