Galaxy dream of Wydad double

George Moore
LOOKING TO STRIKE: Galaxy will be cautiously confident

Moroccan heavyweights in town as CAF Champions League heats up

Flying high in the Botswana Premier League (BPL), Jwaneng Galaxy will look to carry their domestic dominance into Africa when they host Wydad Casablanca in a crucial CAF Champions League game tomorrow.

The BPL table-toppers have enjoyed a stunning start to 2024, winning all but one of their seven matches (a 0-0 draw with Gaborone United the only blip) since the turn of the year. Incredibly, Galaxy have not shipped a single goal in that time – that’s over ten hours without conceding!

The Gala Boy’s steely defence also have fond recent memories against Wydad, keeping the Moroccan heavyweights at bay when the two sides met in North Africa last November.

- Advertisement -

On that memorable evening in Marrakesh, a delicious, Thabang Sesinyi chip proved the difference, propelling Galaxy to a famous triumph over the three-time African champions.

The result took Morena Ramoreboli’s team top of their Group after Match Day One.

However, a goalless draw at home to Simba FC, followed by back-to-back defeats against Ivory Coast champions, ASEC Mimosas, has seen Galaxy slip to 3rd in the log, a point behind the Tanzanians with two to play.

Despite this, Lesagaripa La Dinaledi remain masters of their own destiny, progress to the quarter-finals of Africa’s elite club competition tantalizingly within reach.

Regardless of what happens in tonight’s game between ASEC and Simba, if BW’s best beat Wydad in Ghetto tomorrow, it would set-up a winner-takes-all clash with Simba in Dar es Salaam next week.

First though, they have to get past the mighty Moroccans in what Coach Ramoreboli described as ‘a semi-final before a final’.

- Advertisement -

“These are two crucial games for us. You have to win the semi or else there is no final! We are at home and will try to dominate, play with confidence and try our best to get the win. Make no mistake though, we are up against a very organised, very strong team and will show them the respect they deserve,” said the South African during his Press Conference earlier today.

Urging his players to go out and seize the day, Ramoreboli added, “We’ve already come so far and have the chance to achieve something truly special, something historic for Botswana football. The aim is to sacrifice everything and give it our absolute all.”

In the 22-time Moroccan champions, Galaxy face a wounded Wydad side rich in history but poor in form.

Off-field problems, including Club President, Said Naciri’s recent arrest on accusations of international drug trafficking amongst a list of alleged crimes, have seemingly take their toll on performances on the pitch.

With just two wins in their last nine games, Coach Faouzi Benzarati’s boys sit 4th in the Botale Pro 1 League, 13 points behind Raja CA.

- Advertisement -

Continentally, Wydad have been way off the pace too.

Rock bottom of the Group, a point worse off than Galaxy, the 2022 winners – runners-up in last year’s tournament – are in real danger of missing out on the last eight altogether.

Summing up their current problems, Coach Benzarati reportedly handed in his resignation earlier this month, only for the club’s hierarchy to convince him to carry on.

Having landed in Gaborone at 2pm on Friday, before catching a mid-afternoon flight to Francistown, Wydad have little time to get their bearings; Galaxy can send them spiraling into the abyss.

With kick-off at the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium set for 3pm and temperatures forecast to soar, the action is guaranteed to be red hot; standing on the verge of history, Galaxy need to keep their cool!

ALL TO PLAY FOR: Galaxy’s destiny is in their control
Leave a comment