Waydad Casablanca needed post match penalties to eliminate hosts Esperance 5-4 (1-1) and make it to the final of the African Football League (AFL).
Esperance won Wednesday’s return match played at the Hammadi Agrebi Stadium 1-0 for a 1-1 goal aggregate sending the match to penalties.
The fixture was characterised by an exciting first half during which Waydad Casablanca players perfected in simulation more than play.The home team came into the match needing two goals to go through and therefore meant business from the word go.
A seventh minute corner awarded after Amine Aboulfath had blocked Mohammed Amine’s shot was the first chance at goal for the home side.Surprisingly, Abouldfath was not willing to come off the pitch to seek treatement even after being prodded by Kenyan referee Peter Waweru as he looked to be bleeding from the earlier tackle.
Esperance got another chance in the 19th minute once again from a corner but this was picked out well by Mehdi Maftah in goal.Cheered on by an enthuastic crowd Esperance pressed further for goal. Another chance came in the 23rd minute but Oussema Bouguerra’s attempt to pick out Raed Bouchniba went wide.
Then Bouchniba’s goal bound shot three minutes later was expertly blocked by the hard fighting Amine Aboulfatah at the back of the Waydad back line earning the home team another fruitless corner.
The visitors hardly attacked preferring to stay in their half but occasionally coming out to threaten.
When they did in the 36th minute they got their only corner of the first half with Cherki El Bahra ending the first half with a caution for tough play.
Waydad made the first change as the second half started resting Montessir Lahtmi for Hamdou Mohammed while the homeside brought in Kebba Sowe for Yan Sasse with both sides determined for an upper hand.
It was Esperance who looked the more urgent side in search of the equaliser.After several attempts at goal they were awarded in the 66th minute when Rodrigo Silva found the back of the net with a stunner to send the crowd into a frenzy.
After that goal, Esperance completely dominated proceedings and got a second goal once again by the Brazilian which was however disallowed for offside sending the match to post-match penalties.
Rodriguez missed his penalty while Waydad scored all theirs to claim victory.