Wydad coach hints at Nurkovic problem

CAF Champions League

Wydad AC assistant coach Mohamed Benchrifa believes the suspension of Kaizer Chiefs striker Samir Nurkovic could prove problematic in their crucial CAF Champions League clash against Horoya AC.

Chiefs revived their hopes of securing qualification to the quarter-finals of the Champions League in their maiden group stage participation after their 1-0 win over Wydad at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

Veteran Bernard Parker scored the only goal of the game as Wydad's second-string side were unable to maintain their unbeaten record in Group C.

With Chiefs needing a victory or a scoring draw to advance with the Botola giants to the next round of the competition, Benchrifa mentioned the red card of Nurkovic when asked about who he believes will progress.

"Kaizer Chiefs is a well-organised but concede many goals, I think the match against Horoya in Conakry will be crucial, Horoya is also organised, in the second leg we played them they were very strong," Benchrifa explained.

"The players like Samir Nurkovic who will be missing in the match is important, I think that will be crucial in this match.

"I wish the best for both teams, the importance is that they play pleasant football that promotes African football, Kaizer Chiefs and Horoya."

Scroll through the gallery to see Chiefs' top scorers this season

Benchrifa, who travelled to South Africa in place of head coach Fouazi Benzarti, who stayed in Casablanca to receive his Covid-19 vaccination shot also played down the notion that his squad were play-acting to infuriate the home side.

"Our players don't simulate, I think you haven't seen the match, what Kaizer Chiefs were doing, they stopped the match several times - they took their time when the balls went out," he said before addressing the 'B-team' tag.

"We don't have a second team in Wydad Casablanca, all the players compete for the championship, we thank president Said Naciri for the excellent recruitment."

"The team who played the first-leg isn't this team, that proves that we are a great team and the players showed they are great players. We [also] thank Chiefs who played pleasant football."

Wydad, Chiefs and Horoya all have an opportunity to finish as Group C winners on the final day with the Moroccan giants facing Petro Atletico at home while Amakhosi travel to Guinea this weekend.

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