Nurkovic helps Chiefs sink Wydad

CAF Champions League

Samir Nurkovic's first-half strike handed Kaizer Chiefs a 1-0 win over Wydad Casablanca in their CAF Champions League semi-final first-leg.

With Lebogang Manyama unavailable, Samir Nurkovic and Leonardo Castro continued to lead the line for Chiefs who also gave full-back Yagan Sasman a start in defence.

Chiefs felt the brunt of the host from the get-go with Muaid Ellafi going close from a volley in the heart of the area before Attiat Allah dragged a loose attempt narrowly wide of range.

The North African powerhouse didn’t stop to unsettle the Amakhosi following the opening exchanges, with Ayoub El Kaabi forcing a save off goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma with a header.

However, the Amakhosi cracked the opener on 34 minutes through Nurkovic from a clever pass by Njabulo Blom, with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) overuling the linesman's initial offside call.

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The Amakhosi remained under immense pressure after the break, with Bvuma once again called to keep the Moroccan giants at bay.

An injury forced Sasman to make way for Philani Zulu within 61 minutes in a like-for-like substitution by the South African heavyweights.

Bvuma made another superb save to thwart the host five minutes later, whilst at the other Castro witnessed a smart supply parried by goalkeeper Ahmed Tagnaouti.

The work continued for a certain Bvuma as the match headed to fulltime, but overall the Amakhosi survived the onslaught to claim a big first-leg win.

Confirmed line-ups:

Chiefs: Bvuma, Frosler, Sasman, Mathoho, Ngezana, Cardoso, Parker, Katsande, Blom, Nurkovic, Castro.

Subs: Akpeyi, Baccus, Zulu, Matsheke, Kambole, Akumu, Ngcobo, Mashiane, Moleko.

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