Glamor Boys hope to make final Africa’s first club soccer tournament for the first time
The Kaizer Chiefs are 90 minutes away from making history as they prepare for their second crucial Caf Champions League semi-final clash against Wydad Casablanca.
The Glamor Boys have an aggregate lead of 1-0 in the match set to be played at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, the venue of the 2010 FIFA World Cup final, in Johannesburg.
The two teams will meet two days after Caf’s sister confederation UEFA announced on Thursday that the away goals rule will be abolished in its club competitions this coming season.
The rule is applied to determine the winner of a round-trip knockout match in cases where two teams have scored the same number of goals in total over two matches.
Thus, if a tie ends in a draw and a team has scored more away goals, they will advance to the next round of the competition.
Reactions to the decision by European football’s governing body have been mixed and it has created a debate on whether the rule is still beneficial for a two-legged knockout match.
Caf have yet to say whether they will follow suit and abolish the away goals rule in their Champions League and Confederation Cup competitions before the 2021/22 season.
Eswatini’s young buffaloes took advantage of the decision of the current Caf Champions League campaign in the qualifying rounds.
Two-time champions Eswatini qualified for the first round of the away goals rule after drawing a 1-1 draw with Burundi team Le Messager Ngozi in December 2020.
The Chiefs enter their clash after scoring an important away goal which was scored by Samir Nurkovic four minutes after the hour mark at Mohamed V Stadium last weekend.
The Soweto giants are looking for a draw or win to advance to the final for the first time since the Naturena-based club was founded in January 1970.
For Wydad, a 1-0 win over the Chiefs with a 1-1 draw in aggregate and extra time is not to be played as the winners will be determined by a penalty shootout.
Two-time Champions League winners Wydad would benefit from the away goals rule if the two sides draw 2-2 on aggregate.
A 2-1 win for the Red Castle sees the tie end in a 2-2 overall draw and the North African giants would advance to the Champions League final for the fifth time.
While a win by a margin of two or more goals for Wydad will also earn them an aggregate victory and it would also be their very first victory on South African soil.
The mission is clear enough for the Chiefs to avoid defeat and a place in the final will be secured.