Wydad Coach Regrets Conceding Vital Goal in AFL Final Against Sundowns

Wydad Casablanca’s coach, Abderrahim Talib, expressed his disappointment over the goal conceded by his team in the African Football League (AFL) final against Mamelodi Sundowns.

He believed that Wydad should have avoided conceding the crucial away goal in the first-leg match, despite scoring twice at Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca.

Talib acknowledged that while Wydad took the lead in the first half, they felt they retreated at the start of the second half.

This allowed Sundowns to apply pressure, resulting in them equalizing from a penalty kick.

He also mentioned that the defensive formation in front of the goal was occasionally disorganized.

Looking ahead to the second leg at Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria on November 12, 2023, Talib believed the pressure would be on Mamelodi Sundowns.

He emphasized the importance of Wydad maintaining their focus and character, stating that the team had a good chance of winning the AFL trophy because the pressure would be on Sundowns.

On the other hand, Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena and his team have a good chance of winning the AFL title with just a 1-0 victory in the return match, thanks to the away goal they scored in Casablanca.

In the first leg, Wydad took the lead shortly before half-time, benefiting from Rivaldo Coetzee’s own goal while attempting to clear a low shot from the right.

However, Sundowns equalized in the second half when Moroccan defender Abdel Moneim converted a penalty after a handball by Wydad.

Wydad regained the lead a few minutes later when substitute Anas Serrhat scored, capitalizing on a poor clearance by a Sundowns defender.

Both teams had impressive runs to reach the two-legged final, with Sundowns defeating Al Ahly in the semifinals and Wydad besting Tunisian side Esperance.

Overall, Talib’s comments reflect the tactical and psychological aspects of the AFL final, setting the stage for an exciting second-leg encounter.

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