South Africa

Underdogs Chiefs can go all the way to the final, says Kekana

Because Kaizer Chiefs are not expected to win the CAF Champions League, Mamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana believes they can go all the way to the final.

Chiefs will meet Wydad Casablanca in the first leg in Morocco on Saturday at 9pm before they host the Moroccans  a week later at FNB Stadium.

Having played against Wydad in the Champions League a few times with Sundowns, Kekana feels Chiefs have a huge chance to reach their first cup final in the competition.

“It’s a good place where they find themselves and if you look at the chances, they are very high because you are playing a team which is fearless – that’s Kaizer Chiefs,” Kekana said.

“They have never been in that space and, for me, I believe they have little to lose in that match.

“Expectations of them are not high, and it is always nice to play as underdogs in a competition like the Champions League, where many don’t expect you to do the business. So, I believe they stand a chance of going to the final.

“If they play the way they normally do, they stand a chance, to be honest.”

The 36-year-old also had some advice for Amakhosi: to look out for Wydad's front three players – Mohamed Ounajem, Ayoub El Kaabi, and Simon Msuva. He said they need to close down those three players.

El Kaabi has scored 18 goals in all competitions this season and Chiefs will have to keep an eye on him.

“Wydad are very tricky customers to face. Their front three are so tricky, Ounajem, El Kaabi, and Msuva; they know how to play within their spaces,” Kekana said.

“They have to guard the three and once they deal with the three, I don’t see them having problems with Wydad. The front three are very dangerous, as I said, and Chiefs need to look out for them.”

Chiefs have played Wydad twice in the group stage this season, losing 4-0 away in Ougadougou before winning 2-0 at home – in a game in which the Moroccans sent a weakened team after already qualifying as group winners.

It will be the first time on Saturday that new coach Stuart Baxter, who replaced Gavin Hunt, will be in charge of Amakhosi, having joined them last week.

He will look to start on a positive note and send Amakhosi to their first cup final in the Champions League.

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