Mamelodi Sundowns may have lost the away leg of their Caf Champions League semifinal tie against WAC Casablanca, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom as they return home with with a crucial away goal.
The Tshwane giants were on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline in Rabat on Friday 26 April, as the two sides met for the third time in the 2019 edition of the tournament, having been pooled in the previous round of the competition.
Their sole goal – which came via an unlikely source in defender Anele Ngcongca – may still prove to be their trump card, as they look to secure a second continental title to go with their 2016 triumph.
What Caf says about the away goal rule
Africa’s premier club competition is a bit different to its more popular European counterpart in many aspects – most notably the fact that the final in the Caf Champions League is played over two legs.
However, as far as the away goal rule is concerned, things are pretty much similar across both continents.
For Sundowns, a victory on Saturday – coupled with a clean sheet – will secure a spot in the final, while a goal from the hosts will no doubt complicate matters.
According to Caf regulations, Pitso Mosimane’s men will need to win the tie outright by registering at least a two-goal winning margin in the second leg, should Wydad throw a spanner in the works by finding the net.
“If after the end of regular time of the second match, the two teams have scored the same number of goals during the two matches, the team which will have scored the greatest number of away goals shall qualify.”
Confederation of African Football
The tie will only be decided via a penalty shootout if it so happens that the two teams are tied on aggregate at the end of regular time and the scoreline in both legs has been identical.
This means that in the case of the tie between Sundowns and WAC, the second leg would have to end 2-1 in favour of the hosts in order to force the tie into penalties.
In the case of the other semifinal, TP Mazembe are required to do a bit more going into their home leg, having lost 1-0 to defending champions Esperance de Tunis.
A 2-1 victory for the men from the DRC will not be enough to see them through, as Esperance will have scored the crucial away goal.
For both Sundowns and TP Mazembe, solid defence may just be their trump card as they will look to keep a clean sheet. And that’s only part of the job done.