Moroccan dominance of African continental competitions will be established on Saturday, when Champions League champions Wydad and Confederation Cup winner Nahda Berkane meet at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat in the Super Cup final. which brings together two Moroccan teams for the first time.
The meeting will be a retaliation for “Widad Al-Ummah” after the “orange” team deprived him of the historic trio, since he fell in the Throne Cup final on penalties. Wydad had won the league title as well as being on the continental throne at the expense of Al-Ahly of Egypt.
Wydad is looking to clinch his second title in the competition after 2018, knowing he was runner-up twice in the first edition in 1993 and 2003, while Nahdet Berkane fought the match once in May 2021 when he lost to Egypt’s Al-Ahly. .
The start of the season varies for the two teams, as Wydad got off to a relatively good start in the local league with a draw with Al-Fath Al-Rabat and then a lopsided win over Al-Hassani Al-Jadidi 3-1, in On the other hand, Al-Nahda suffered an initial defeat against Hassania Agadir and then a difficult draw with the Royal Army.
The two teams made technical changes after their continental crowning, as local coach Hussein Amouta took over training from Wydad in place of Walid Regraki, who went on to oversee the “Atlas Lions” team ahead of the World Cup final. World after the dismissal of Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic.
As for the “Barakna” team, it was supervised by the Algerian coach Abdelhak Benchikha, instead of the Democratic Congolese Florent Ibinge.
Wydad comes into the match with the ambition to control the continental level, especially as the team was very active in the transfer period, as it included many new faces, led by Mohamed Onajem, who returned after a professional period with the Egyptian Zamalek, former Raja player Hamid Haddad, Senegalese striker Junior Sambiu and Algerian defender Hussein bin Ayada.
The squad also includes a group of distinguished individuals who contributed to the continental crown, including Zuhair Al-Matraji, midfielder Yahya Gibran and full-back Yahya Attia Allah, right up to international goalkeeper Ahmed Reda Al-Taknaouti.
Amota was optimistic about returning to the continental podium after leading Wydad to the 2017 Champions League title, telling a press conference before the meeting: “The Super Cup match will bring Wydad closer to full preparation. and to a great extent”, adding: “We congratulate ourselves because the African Super will combine two Moroccan teams Wydad and Renaissance Berkane”. Whatever the identity of the winning team, the cup will remain Moroccan.”
Benchikha’s start with Berkani’s side was less than ideal, but he is keen to pick up morale by winning the second continental title this season and the third in the club’s history.
Therefore, he saw that “the confrontation will be open to all possibilities between the two teams.” The former Algerian coach continued: “It is a final match with equal chances. We respect the Wydad team and have great appreciation for them and their supporters, but in return we have the motivation and ambition to win this title and return the cup to the Berkane City”.
He stressed that “in finals of this type it is difficult to guess or speculate on the result, although I see that the chances are even and the team that will be calmer and in better conditions to face mentally before and during the game will be the most likely”. to win the cup.”
And he added: “We are going to try to accelerate the pace of preparation for this final in a way that suits him and the expectations of the team’s managers and fans”.
Benchikha hopes that all his elements recover their preparation, especially the veterans, Bakr Al-Hilali and Youssef Al-Fahli, after missing the Royal Army meeting in the local league.
The Algerian coach has strong names in the squad, especially Congolese striker Shadrac Lacombe, Mauritanian Adama Ba and goalkeeper Hamza Hamyani.
Egypt’s Al-Ahly hold the record for the number of titles in the competition, having won eight times, the last of which was last season at the expense of Morocco’s Raja (2010) and Al-Fath Al-Rabbati (2011). ).