Familiar foes Wydad Casablanca and Mamelodi Sundowns played out a 0-0 draw in their CAF Champions League Group C match played at the Stade Mohamed V on Saturday night.
The result is the first time the Brazilians have avoided an away defeat against WAC and sees them hold first place on the log with four points – two ahead of USM Alger and the Moroccan club, while Angola’s Petro de Luanda sit at the bottom with one point.
Sundowns enjoyed a strong start to the game, with a disallowed goal in the opening seconds and near-misses for both Gaston Sirino and Motjeka Madisha within the first 21 minutes.
Wydad gradually gained a foothold in the game and ‘Downs needed Denis Onyango to make an excellent save to deny Badie Aouk on 39 minutes.
Yet the best chance of the half went the way of Brazilians midfielder Thapelo Morena in the 44th minute, as he went one-on-one with Ahmed Tagnaouti, but the goalkeeper made a fine save to ensure the half ended 0-0.
The teams continued to trade chances through the second half, with Sundowns making a couple of notable changes just after the hour mark when they introduced Lebohang Maboe and Sphelele Mkhulise off the bench.
The latter, who was so impressive in the South Africa side’s win over Petro de Luanda last weekend, very nearly added to his burgeoning reputation with a fine strike in the 69th minute, but Tagnaouti made an excellent save.
As the match wore on it was Sundowns rather than the hosts who looked the likelier scorers, but the breakthrough never quite arrived, leaving the teams to settle for a goalless stalemate.
The duo will return to CAF Champions League action later this month, with Sundowns away to USM Alger and Wydad at home to Petro de Luanda.
Wydad: Tagnaouti, Noussir, Dari, Comara, El Amloud, Aouk, Jabrane, El Karti (Tighazaoui 78’), El Haddad (Gaddarine 57’), El Hassouni (Babatunde 68’), El Kaabi
Sundowns: Onyango, Ngcongca, Madisha, Lebusa, Langerman, Morena, Jali, Kekana, Zwane (Mkhulise 62’), Meza (Maboe 60’), Sirino (Vilakazi 82’)