By Peterking Quaye in Monrovia – Invincible Eleven (IE) were beaten at home 2-0 after full time in their home game against Wydad Athletic Casablanca of Morocco who seemed more organized and composed. The Moroccan won this competition in 2002 and are not new to this terrain. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) Confederations Cup is a unique platform for teams from African countries to compete for honours.
The defeat means IE have lost for the second time to a side from Morocco. It can be recollected the Invincibles in the 1988 champions league lost 1-0 to Royal Armed Forces at the SKD and played to a grueling 0-0 draw away. They would then return home to get an eleven game unbeaten run in the national league before the Oilers of LPRC ended it. Those were the days of Joe Naagbe, Jonathan Sogbie, Gaaaaballay Marshall, Sam Chebli, the Guinean duo of Ori Bah and Moucta Sylla .
Goals came from the boots of Lys Mouithys and Mouhcine Iajour in the 58th and 79th minutes respectively. The two goals unsettled I.E and made them switch to a defensivee mode ,which saw the Moroccans team dictating the dying minutes of the game.
Wydad has the largest number of supporters in Morocco and are looking at the financial constraint that local teams face. So will I.E survive the pressure from the home fans that will be in their numbers at the 67,000 capacity ,Stade Mohamed V, Casablanca? The I.E team could not feature their new talisman George Gebro and first choice goalie Teah Nelson as they could not reportedly pay US 1,000.00 each to CAF to enable them to be registered.
Wydad Athletic Casablanca of Morocco under former Real Madrid trainer Benito Floro, the visitors dressed in dominant red with a host of sponsors logos and that of CAF started on a very cautious note as they only focused on keeping the ball and creating few surprises in the final third.
The 19 times Moroccan champs who won the CAF Champions league in 1992 and ended as runners up in 2011 controlled the game via their influential Ivorian play maker Bakari Kone who sprayed the passes and made lot of runs to the delight of the home crowd.
Despite the presence of the legendary George Weah in the locker room of IE giving them pep talks, IE who surprisingly kept the experienced Joseph Sayon on the bench.
For now, IE will have to focus on the national league where they face a crunch test with LPRC Oilers on Thursday at the ATS. Sadly,
In a related development ,Ghana’s sole representative Berekum Chelsea begun the second round of their African Champions League campaign with a 5-0 home thrashing of Raja Casablanca on Sunday. The win at the Golden City Park in Sunyani could prove a huge step towards their march to the next stage of the competition.
A second half explosion saw Chelsea score five goals through Solomon Asante, captain Abdul Basit and a hat-trick from striker Emmanuel Clottey to lead the first leg. The lead puts the Ghanaian champions in a comfortable position as they play in their debut continental competition against the three-time winners. After taking on Liberia’s LISCR back-to-back .
Chelsea coach Hans Van der Plyum is thrilled with the scoreline against the Moroccan side ahead of the second leg in a fortnight’s time. “Our strategy is to score more goals than the opponent. If you get a chance against a side like Raja and play first at home, you have to take your chances. If you get the opportunities to score more goals, you have to take them very well. These teams are always difficult to beat away too,” the Chelsea said.