Wydad have inflicted more pain on Sundowns than any other team in the Caf Champions League. The Moroccan giants ended Sundowns’ run in 2017 when they looked on course to retain the trophy they had won the previous year. Wydad knocked them out in the quarter-finals and went on to win the tournament. The following year Wydad got four points from the Brazilians who crashed out in the group stage.
The two giants resumed their rivalry in the 2018/19 Champions League - the first to run from August to May. Wydad beat Sundowns in Morocco in the group stage and in the semi-finals. The positive for Sundowns in that campaign was that they finally scored against Wydad in Morocco. The 2-1 loss in the semi-final was the club’s best performance against Wydad in their own backyard. They took the fight to the Moroccans and almost stunned them in a bid to reach their third Champions League final.
Even though the side hasn’t improved from that team, there is a strong feeling among those associated with the club that Saturday’s game will see them beat Wydad in Casablanca at home for the first time, or at worst come back with a point and keep their place at the top of the group.
What makes Mosimane smile when talking about this game is the respect between the teams. This game has grown to be one of the most entertaining and eagerly anticipated rivalries on the continent. They fight, bully each other and even have confrontations off the pitch - but at the heart of that is respect and a winning mentality, with neither side willing to give an inch.