• CAF Champions League: Advantage Wydad ahead of showdown

    (SuperSport.com) Wydad Casablanca hold all the aces heading into the second leg of the CAF Champions League final against Al Ahly on Saturday night.

    The match will be staged at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca, Morocco, with kick-off at 10pm CAT.

    The first leg in Alexandria last weekend ended 1-1, with Ahly’s early goal from Moamen Zakaria cancelled out within the opening 20 minutes by a superb strike from Wydad’s Achraf Bencharki.

    The aggregate score of 1-1 very much favours the Moroccan side, who have home advantage for the decisive leg and need only keep a clean sheet to ensure they pick up their second Champions League title.

    The Egyptian giants, meanwhile, must at least match Wydad’s away goal if they are to have a shot at winning a record-extending ninth African crown.

    Wydad coach Hussein Amotta will be without the services of injured winger Mohamed Ounajem, but was delighted with the first-leg result and believes his side is capable of triumphing on home soil.

    “We achieved a milestone leaving Alexandria with a draw under these circumstances,” said Amotta after the match at the Borg El Arab Stadium.

    “With all these fans, and against one of Africa’s finest most experienced clubs, a draw was a great result.”

    He added, “It [the return leg] won’t be an easy game, but we will be more relaxed and we will have to work on scoring first this Saturday.

    “Al Ahly have one of the best front lines in Africa, so it would be illogical to sit back and defend against them.

    “Now that we know the flaws in Al Ahly’s defence, we will put pressure on them from the start. Yet at the same time we need to leave them no space for counter-attacks at the back.

    “It is a great pleasure for me to coach Wydad and lead them up to this stage, but I cannot wait till Saturday when I become the happiest man in Morocco and all of Africa.”

    Al Ahly have their own injury absentee in the shape of captain Hossam Ashour, and coach Hossam El Badry is under pressure to turn the tie around in Casablanca.

    “I knew it [the first leg] was going to be a tough match, and we didn’t exploit the chances that we had during the game. We weren’t lucky [in the match] too,” the Al Ahly coach explained.

    He added, “However, we put in an overall strong performance and I believe in the players’ abilities. We’ll fight to achieve victory in the second leg to claim the title.”

    Gambian referee Bakary Gassama will take charge of the match in Casablanca on Saturday night. The winners will qualify for both the 2017 Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in December, and the 2018 CAF Super Cup against the winners of the Confederation Cup final

    Read more...
  • CAF Awards: Bencherki, Ayman Majid and Ounnajem have been nominated for the 2017 African based Player of the Year award

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Achraf Bencherki (Wydad Casablanca), Ayman Majid (FUS Rabat) and Mohammed Ounnajem (Wydad Casablanca) have been nominated for the 2017 African based Player of the Year award.

    The winner will be decided by votes from the Head Coaches/Technical Directors of the National Associations affiliated to CAF, members of the CAF Technical and Development Committee and a panel of Media Experts.

    The Awards Gala will be held on Thursday, 4 January 2018 in Accra, Ghana.

    African Player of the Year – Based in Africa

    1. Achraf Bencharki (Morocco & Wydad Athletic Club)

    2. Ahmed Fathi (Egypt & Al Ahly)

    3. Alkhaly Bangoura (Guinea & Etoile du Sahel)

    4. Ali Maaloul (Tunisia & Al Ahly)

    5. Aristide Bance (Burkina Faso & Al Masry)

    6. Ayman Majid (Morocco & FUS Rabat)

    7. Aymen Mathlouthi (Tunisia & Etoile du Sahel)

    8. Ben Malango (DR Congo & TP Mazembe)

    9. Dean Furman (South Africa & Supersport United)

    10. Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)

    11. Elsamani Saadeldin (Sudan & Al Merreikh)

    12. Fackson Kapumbu (Zambia & Zesco)

    13. Fawzi Chaouchi (Algeria & MC Alger)

    14. Geoffrey Serunkuma (Uganda & KCCA)

    15. Jeremy Brockie (New Zealand & Supersport)

    16. Junior Ajayi (Nigeria & Al Ahly)

    17. Karim Aouadhi (Tunisia & CS Sfaxien)

    18. Mohamed Meftah (Algeria & USM Alger)

    19. Mohamed Ounnajem (Morocco & Wydad Athletic Club)

    20. Muaid Ellafi (Libya & Ahly Tripoli)

    21. Nasr Eldin Ahmed (Sudan & Hilal Obeid)

    22. Oussama Darfalou (Algeria & USM Alger)

    23. Percy Tau (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)

    24. Sabelo Ndzinisa (Swaziland & Mbabane Swallows)

    25. Saber Khalifa (Tunisia & Club Africain)

    26. Saladin Said (Ethiopia & Saint George)

    27. Sylvain Gbohouo (Cote d’Ivoire & TP Mazembe)

    28. Tady Etekiama (DR Congo & AS Vita)

    29. Taha Yassine Khenissi (Tunisia & Esperance)

    30. Tarek Hamed (Egypt & Zamalek)

    Read more...
  • WC 2018 Qualifiers: Ivory Coast coach Marc Wilmots calls for unity ahead of Morocco clash

    (Africanfootball.com) Ivory Coast coach Marc Wilmots has called for unity ahead of his team’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Morocco next month.

    The Elephants will host the Atlas Lions for their decisive Group C clash at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan on November 11.

    Ivory Coast must win the match to top the group and secure qualification for a fourth successive World Cup.

    Morocco, meanwhile, need only avoid defeat and they will qualify for their first global tournament since 1998.

    Wilmots recently took to his official Twitter page to call for unity from Ivory Coast supporters ahead of the match.

    The Belgian has come under harsh criticism for the Elephants’ form since he took over in March.

    “Exactly 2 weeks before the confrontation with Morocco. All united for qualification,” Wilmots posted on his account this past weekend.

    Read more...
  • CAF Award: Khalid Boutaib and Karim El Ahmadi named in provisional 30-man list for 2017 African Player of the Year Award

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Feyenoord captain Karim El Ahmadi and Yeni Malatyaspor striker Khalid Boutaib have been named in a provisional 30-man list for the 2017 African Player of the Year Award.

    The winner will be decided by votes from the Head Coaches/Technical Directors of the National Associations affiliated to CAF, members of the CAF Technical and Development Committee and a panel of Media Experts.

    The Awards Gala will be held on Thursday, 4 January 2018 in Accra, Ghana.

    African Player of the Year

    1. Ali Maaloul (Tunisia & Al Ahly)

    2. Bertrand Traore (Burkina Faso & Lyon)

    3. Cedric Bakambu (DR Congo & Villareal)

    4. Christian Atsu (Ghana & Newcastle)

    5. Christian Bassogog (Cameroon & Henan Jianye)

    6. Denis Onyango (Uganda & Mamelodi Sundowns)

    7. Eric Bailly (Cote d’Ivoire & Manchester United)

    8. Essam El Hadary (Egypt & Al Taawoun)

    9. Fabrice Ondoa (Cameroon & Sevilla)

    10. Fackson Kapumbu (Zambia & Zesco)

    11. Jean Michel Seri (Cote d’Ivoire & Nice)

    12. Junior Kabananga (DR Congo & Astana)

    13. Karim El Ahmadi (Morocco & Feyenoord)

    14. Keita Balde (Senegal & Monaco)

    15. Khalid Boutaib (Morocco & Yeni Malatyaspor)

    16. Mbwana Samata (Tanzania & Genk)

    17. Michael Olunga (Kenya & Girona)

    18. Mohamed Salah (Egypt & Liverpool)

    19. Moussa Marega (Mali & Porto)

    20. Naby Keita (Guinea & RB Leipzig)

    21. Percy Tau (South Africa & Mamelodi Sundowns)

    22. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Gabon & Borussia Dortmund)

    23. Sadio Mane (Senegal & Liverpool)

    24. Thomas Partey (Ghana & Atletico Madrid)

    25. Victor Moses (Nigeria & Chelsea)

    26. Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon & Porto)

    27. William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria & Bursaspor)

    28. Yacine Brahimi (Algeria & Porto)

    29. Youssef Msakni (Tunisia & Al Duhail)

    30. Yves Bissouma (Mali & Lille)

    Read more...
  • CAF CL: Maaloul, Ashour excluded as Al Ahly announce squad for African finalby Salma Abdallah November 1, 2017 Ahly training session ahead of Eseprance Sportive de Tunisa quarter-final clashAl Ahly manager Hossam El-Badry has announced a 22-man squad for

    (www.kingfut.com) Al Ahly manager Hossam El-Badry has announced a 22-man squad for the second leg of the CAF Champions League final against Wydad Casablanca.

    The Cairo giants, who were held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Cairo, will travel to Morocco for the decisive second leg on Saturday.

    Al Ahly will miss the services of Tunisia’s Ali Maaloul as he was excluded due to an injury he picked up in the first leg. They’ll have to do without veteran midfielder Hossam Ashour, who also missed the first leg due to a muscle injury.

    Saleh Gomaa will also miss out through injury.

    The Squad:

    Goalkeepers: Sherif Ekramy, Ahmed Adel Abdel-Moneim, Mohamed El-Shennawy.

    Defenders: Ahmed Fathi, Mohamed Hani, Rami Rabia, Mohamed Naguib, Saad Samir, Sabry Raheel, Hussein El-Sayed.

    Midfielders: Amr El-Sulaya, Abdallah El-Said, Hesham Mohamed, Walid Soliman, Momen Zakaria, Ahmed El-Sheikh, Ahmed Hamoudi, Karim Nedved, Mido Gaber.

    Forwards: Walid Azaro, Junior Ajayi, Emad Meteb.

    A victory or a 2-2 draw would secure Al Ahly their ninth title, while a goalless draw would earn Wydad their second in history.

    Read more...
  • ًWC 2018 Qualifiers: Renard unveils selection vs Cote d'Ivoire

    (TheAtlasLions.com) Morocco coach Herve Renard has unveiled his squad for the upcoming make or break tie against Ivory Coast on November 11. #CIVMAR

    Here is the squad list:

    Keepers:

    Munir EL KAJOUI

    Yassine BOUNOU

    Ahmed Reda TAGNAOUTI

    Defenders:

    Medhi BENATIA

    Jawad EL YAMIQ

    Romain SAISS

    Badr BANOUN

    Nabil DIRAR

    Achraf HAKIMI

    Fouad CHAFIK

    Oualid EL-HAJJAM

    Hamza MENDYL

    Midfielders:

    Karim EL AHMADI

    Sofyan AMRABAT

    Mbark BOUSSOUFA

    Faycal FAJR

    Hakim ZIYECH

    Younès BELHANDA

    Amine HARIT

    Nordin AMRABAT

    Sofiane BOUFAL

    Ismail EL HADDAD

    Attackers:

    Khalid BOUTAIB

    Rachid ALIOUI

    Mimoun MAHI

    Achraf BENCHARKI.

    Read more...
  • CAF CL: Advantage Wydad ahead of showdown

    Wydad Casablanca hold all the aces heading into the second leg of the CAF Champions League final against Al Ahly on Saturday night.

    The match will be staged at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca, Morocco, with kick-off at 10pm CAT.

    The first leg in Alexandria last weekend ended 1-1, with Ahly’s early goal from Moamen Zakaria cancelled out within the opening 20 minutes by a superb strike from Wydad’s Achraf Bencharki.

    The aggregate score of 1-1 very much favours the Moroccan side, who have home advantage for the decisive leg and need only keep a clean sheet to ensure they pick up their second Champions League title.

    The Egyptian giants, meanwhile, must at least match Wydad’s away goal if they are to have a shot at winning a record-extending ninth African crown.

    Wydad coach Hussein Amotta will be without the services of injured winger Mohamed Ounajem, but was delighted with the first-leg result and believes his side is capable of triumphing on home soil.

    “We achieved a milestone leaving Alexandria with a draw under these circumstances,” said Amotta after the match at the Borg El Arab Stadium.

    “With all these fans, and against one of Africa’s finest most experienced clubs, a draw was a great result.”

    He added, “It [the return leg] won’t be an easy game, but we will be more relaxed and we will have to work on scoring first this Saturday.

    “Al Ahly have one of the best front lines in Africa, so it would be illogical to sit back and defend against them.

    “Now that we know the flaws in Al Ahly’s defence, we will put pressure on them from the start. Yet at the same time we need to leave them no space for counter-attacks at the back.

    “It is a great pleasure for me to coach Wydad and lead them up to this stage, but I cannot wait till Saturday when I become the happiest man in Morocco and all of Africa.”

    Al Ahly have their own injury absentee in the shape of captain Hossam Ashour, and coach Hossam El Badry is under pressure to turn the tie around in Casablanca.

    “I knew it [the first leg] was going to be a tough match, and we didn’t exploit the chances that we had during the game. We weren’t lucky [in the match] too,” the Al Ahly coach explained.

    He added, “However, we put in an overall strong performance and I believe in the players’ abilities. We’ll fight to achieve victory in the second leg to claim the title.”

    Gambian referee Bakary Gassama will take charge of the match in Casablanca on Saturday night. The winners will qualify for both the 2017 Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in December, and the 2018 CAF Super Cup against the winners of the Confederation Cup final

    https://www.supersport.com/football/caf-champions-league/news/171031/Advantage_Wydad_ahead_of_Casablanca_showdown

    Read more...
  • CAF CL: Champions League: Wydad coach Hussein Amotta wants to put pressure on Al Ahly defence

    After playing to a 1-1 draw against Al Ahly in the first leg of the CAF Champions League final on Saturday, Wydad Casablanca coach Hussein Amotta expects a tough second leg clash against the Red Devils.

    Amotta said he is planning to turn the tables by putting all the pressure on the Egyptian giants in the return fixture this weekend.

    “We achieved a milestone leaving Alexandria with a draw under these circumstances,” said Amotta.

    “With all these fans, and against one of Africa’s finest most experienced clubs, a draw was a great result.

    “It won’t be an easy game, but we will be more relaxed and we will have to work on scoring first this Saturday.

    “Al Ahly have one of the best front lines in Africa, so it would be illogical to sit back and defend against them.

    “Now that we know the flaws in Al Ahly’s defence, we will put pressure on them from the start. Yet at the same time we need to leave them no space for counter-attacks at the back.”

    The return leg will be staged on Saturday, November 4 at Complexe Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca.

    http://africanfootball.com//news/733350/Champions-League-Wydad-coach-Hussein-Amotta-wants-to-put-pressure-on-Al-Ahly-defence

    Read more...
  • UCL: Benatia out against Sporting through injury

    By Football Italia staff

    Juventus have named Mattia De Sciglio in their squad to face Sporting CP on Tuesday, but there is still no Medhi Benatia.

    De Sciglio is the only recognised right-back in Juve’s squad, with Stephan Lichtsteiner ineligible for the Champions League.

    However, it remains to be seen whether he is fit enough to appear in Lisbon after staying on the substitutes’ bench for the Bianconeri’s last two games.

    Benatia, meanwhile, remains sidelined with an ankle problem as the Old Lady can all-but-secure a top-two place in Group D with victory over Sporting.

    Juve squad for Sporting: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Szczesny; De Sciglio, Chiellini, Alex Sandro, Barzagli, Rugani; Pjanic, Khedira, Marchisio, Matuidi, Asamoah, Sturaro, Bentancur; Cuadrado, Higuain, Dybala, Douglas Costa, Mandzukic, Bernardeschi

    Read more...
  • NT: Morocco to play Argentina in friendly on March 17th 2018?

    Read more...

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