History of two Moroccan clubs in continental finals

History of two Moroccan clubs in continental finals
17 May 2019 08:07

Two Moroccan clubs are in the finals of the two CAF continental club championships. Wydad Athletic Club will play Esperance of Tunisia in the Total CAF Champions League and RS Berkane are due to face Egyptian giants, Zamalek in the second-tier Total CAF Confederation Cup, the first time in the former’s history.

 

Moroccan clubs have won six CAF Champions League titles just as the CAF Confederation Cup. For the CAF Super Cup, they have clinched four titles from nine finals.

 

It is now the fifth time during the same season that two Moroccan clubs are in the final of the two flagship competitions on the African continent. The first time dates back to 1997 with Raja Club Athletic and AS FAR. Raja won the premier continental club championship, whilst FAR lost 2-1 on aggregate to Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel in the defunct CAF Cup Winners’ Cup.

 

The second time was in 1999, with eternal rivals, Raja and Wydad Club Athletic, in the CAF Champions League and defunct CAF Cup respectively. 

 

The same thing happened again in 2002. Raja losing 1-0 on aggregate to Egyptian giants Zamalek in the CAF Champions League whilst Wydad edged Ghana’s Asante Kotoko to the CAF Cup Winners’ trophy.

 

In 2011, Wydad and Maghreb Fes were each in the final of the continental club championships. Wydad lost to Esperance from Tunisia 1-0 on aggregate in the CAF Champions League. Fez on the other hand toppled Tunisia’s Club Africain 6-5 on penalties for the CAF Confederation Cup title. 

 

Against this backdrop, the CAF Super Cup could therefore be historic since it has never witnessed an all-Moroccan clash. Only Egypt and Tunisia have managed to win the three continental titles in one season by lining up two local clubs in the Super Cup final.

 

Moroccan clubs , therefore, are  back to supremacy and dominance over African football in the last three years. While Raja is the title-holder of CAF Confederation Cup and CAF Super Cup, Wydad lifted the CAF Champions League in 2017, and the CAF Super Cup the same season.

 

“Two Moroccan teams in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup finals shows the dynamism of Moroccan football, especially at the club level,” Moroccan journalist and football analyst Jamal Astaifi told CAFOnline.com.

 

“These teams have benefited from the strong competition and rivalry in the national league (Botola), and also the positive pressure from the fans who have become more attached to their teams, a fact that push the managers to keep their best players instead of trading them abroad, as it is in the case of Wydad ", he added.

.

In addition to ball possession, great defensive effort, offensive style, the mental strength and the endless support from fans, Wydad and RS Berkane have made the whole country proud of this great achievement, mainly Berkane reaching an African final for the first time.

 

Wydad sealed their place at the final after eliminating South African club Mamelodi Sundowns. As for the Berkanis, they found themselves in the final of the after defeating the Tunisia’s CS Sfaxien.

“The two clubs have deserved to reach the two finals, and they are capable of beating Esperance and Zamalek", Mr Staifi added.

 

Having two clubs from the same country, each in a final of the two African club competitions is a rare occurrence.Tunisia in the Total CAF Champions League and RS Berkane are due to face Egyptian giants, Zamalek in the second-tier Total CAF Confederation Cup, the first time in the former’s history.

Moroccan clubs have won six CAF Champions League titles just as the CAF Confederation Cup. For the CAF Super Cup, they have clinched four titles from nine finals.

It is now the fifth time during the same season that two Moroccan clubs are in the final of the two flagship competitions on the African continent. The first time dates back to 1997 with Raja Club Athletic and AS FAR. Raja won the premier continental club championship, whilst FAR lost 2-1 on aggregate to Tunisia’s Etoile du Sahel in the defunct CAF Cup Winners’ Cup.

The second time was in 1999, with eternal rivals, Raja and Wydad Club Athletic, in the CAF Champions League and defunct CAF Cup respectively.

The same thing happened again in 2002. Raja losing 1-0 on aggregate to Egyptian giants Zamalek in the CAF Champions League whilst Wydad edged Ghana’s Asante Kotoko to the CAF Cup Winners’ trophy.

In 2011, Wydad and Maghreb Fes were each in the final of the continental club championships. Wydad lost to Esperance from Tunisia 1-0 on aggregate in the CAF Champions League. Fez on the other hand toppled Tunisia’s Club Africain 6-5 on penalties for the CAF Confederation Cup title.

Against this backdrop, the CAF Super Cup could therefore be historic since it has never witnessed an all-Moroccan clash. Only Egypt and Tunisia have managed to win the three continental titles in one season by lining up two local clubs in the Super Cup final.

Moroccan clubs , therefore, are back to supremacy and dominance over African football in the last three years. While Raja is the title-holder of CAF Confederation Cup and CAF Super Cup, Wydad lifted the CAF Champions League in 2017, and the CAF Super Cup the same season.

“Two Moroccan teams in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup finals shows the dynamism of Moroccan football, especially at the club level,” Moroccan journalist and football analyst Jamal Astaifi told CAFOnline.com.

“These teams have benefited from the strong competition and rivalry in the national league (Botola), and also the positive pressure from the fans who have become more attached to their teams, a fact that push the managers to keep their best players instead of trading them abroad, as it is in the case of Wydad ", he added.
.
In addition to ball possession, great defensive effort, offensive style, the mental strength and the endless support from fans, Wydad and RS Berkane have made the whole country proud of this great achievement, mainly Berkane reaching an African final for the first time.

Wydad sealed their place at the final after eliminating South African club Mamelodi Sundowns. As for the Berkanis, they found themselves in the final of the after defeating the Tunisia’s CS Sfaxien.
“The two clubs have deserved to reach the two finals, and they are capable of beating Esperance and Zamalek", Staifi added.

Having two clubs from the same country, each in a final of the two African club competitions is a rare occurrence.


Fixtures and Results