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Can Petro, Setif conjure historic comebacks in CAF Champions League

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Petro
Petro de Luanda celebrate in a previous match
  • Petro lost 3-1 at home against Wydad Athletic
  • Setif suffered a 4-0 loss in Cairo against Al Ahly
  • The return leg matches are scheduled for this weekend

Angola’s Petro de Luanda and ES Setif of Algeria have mountains to climb in the second leg of the CAF Champions League semi-finals this weekend.

Petro have a 3-1 defficit against Wydad as they head to the return tie in Casablanca while Setif hosts defending champions Ahly in Algiers, wearing the weight of a huge 4-0 defeat in the first leg in Cairo last weekend.

Both sides need massive results to overturn the deficit.

Petro travel to one of the most hostile atmospheres in African football, the Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca. Petro have bad memories of their last trip up north. The two sides met in their last match of the group stages with Wydad earning a massive 5-1 victory.

Wydad have only lost thrice at home in the Champions League since 2007. Their only defeats have been at the hands of Al Ahly (2016 and 2020) and Kaizer Chiefs (June 2021).

They will look to make the most of their home advantage, with a passionate home crowd behind them to make their first final since the 2018-19 season.

Petro meanwhile are looking to make their first ever Champions League final, and this will require a massive comeback in a hostile environment.

They have won only one of their last five Champions League matches, a 2-1 home win over Mamelodi Sundowns in the first leg of the quarter finals. Their away record is worrying, having won only one of their last 10 away meetings, and it was against fellow Angolan side Sagrada Esperanca in the group stages of this year’s showpiece.

Can Petro Setif conjure comebacks CAF

Al Ahly’s Mohamed Sherif celebrates

Meanwhile, in Algeria, Setif will look towards the home crowd to charge them up against an Ahly side that displayed free-flowing football in the first leg in Cairo.

Legendary South African coach Pitso Mosimane is seeking his third consecutive Champions League trophy with Ahly and fourth as a coach and victory in Algeria will be another step in the right direction.

Setif, winners of the Champions League in 1988 and 2014 will need a massive performance at home to overturn a four-goal deficit and progress to the final. They will need to win the game by a margin of more than five goals to ensure a place in the finale.

In the Champions League at home, Setif have won three, drawn one, and lost one of their last five matches.

The last meeting between these two sides in Algeria was in 2018 where Setif won 2-1. Ahead of Saturday’s duel, they will need to summon these spirits and more, to overturn the massive deficit against the Red Devils.

Ahly have a chequered away record in the Champions League, having won only one of their last four games on the road. But, with a four-goal cushion, they are more than confident that they will punch a ticket to the final.

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