South African giants Kaizer Chiefs held their nerves for a barren draw against Wydad Club Athletic on Saturday, to qualify for their first ever TotalEnergies CAF Champions League final with a 1-0 aggregate victory over the Moroccan side.
Having won by a solitary goal in the first leg in Casablanca last week, Amakhosi just needed a draw in the return fixture at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg and they did just that, to secure a place in the finale.
Wydad, two-time winners of the Champions League, will live to rue missed chances in both legs as they are eliminated in the semi-final stages for the second season in a row.
Just as they did in the first leg, Wydad pinned Chiefs in their own half for most of the game, but they couldn’t make the chances they had count.
In the 19th minute, Daniel Akpeyi who was coming into goal in place of Bruce Bvuma made a brilliant save to dive to his left and keep away a curling effort from Ayman El Hassouni.
Ayoub El Kaabi had two back to back chances that should have surely been buried. In the 28th minute, the forward controlled the ball inside the box but his shot on the turn was weak, going straight to Akpeyi’s waiting arms.
Two minutes later, a cross from the right deflected into his path but the striker once again sent his shot straight to Akpeyi unmarked inside the box.
In the second half, Wydad continued threatening and in the 59th minute had another glorious opportunity. Mohamed Ounajem sent in a brilliant cross from the right but Muad Ellafi’s connecting header, once again unmarked inside the box skied just over.
They could have been punished two minutes later but had their keeper Ahmed Tagnaouti to thank. The shot stopper made a brilliant save to pluck away Samir Nurkovic’s bouncing header off the top corner.
The visitors kept knocking on the Chiefs door, but nothing worked for them as they couldn’t find the perfect finish to get at least a goal off the match.