Wydad Casablanca hold firm for away draw in CAF Champions League final

Achraf Bencharki of Wydad Casablanca BackpagePix

Wydad Casablanca clinched a battling 1-1 draw in the first leg of their African Champions League final at Egyptian giants Al Ahly.

Achraf Bencharki levelled for the Moroccan side as they withstood massive early pressure from Al Ahly who were ahead after Moamen Zakaria found the back of the net inside two minutes.

But Wydad were stout in their defending thereafter, especially in the second period when they limited Al Ahly to just a few chances.

Zakaria's stunning strike from 30 yards out had been teed-up by Abdallah El-Said. And, it should have been 2-0 for the home side five minutes later when their Moroccan striker Walid Azaro raced clear, but could only steer his shot onto the crossbar.

Wydad then settled and began to assert some pressure, finding an equaliser as Bencharki glanced a header past goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy from Mohamed Ounajem's cross on 17 minutes.

Nigerian Junior Ajayi had two good chances to score after that, as did El-Said, while the final opportunity of the game fell to Emad Moteab for Al Ahly, whose shot shaved the post.

While Al Ahly are seeking to extend their record of eight Champions League titles, Wydad are hoping to add to their only previous win, which came 25 years ago in 1992.