In a game filled with drama, defending CAF Champions League title holders Wydad Casablanca were held to a goalless draw by 9-man Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa in the first leg of the semifinals.
Mamelodi Sundowns started the match strongly, with Peter Shalulile finding the back of the net after 10 minutes. However, the goal was disallowed after a VAR review deemed it offside.
Despite the setback, the South African side continued to dominate proceedings until Neo Maema was shown a red card in the 44th minute for a reckless challenge on Wydad midfielder Amine Aboulfath.
With the numerical advantage, Wydad Casablanca intensified their efforts, but Zouheir El Moutarji, Hamid Ahadad, and Bouly Junior Sambou squandered good scoring opportunities.
As the clock ticked down, VAR came into play once again when Ghanaian referee Daniel Nii Laryea issued a second yellow card to Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Marcelo Allende for a challenge on Wydad’s Arsene Zola.
The goalless draw leaves the tie finely balanced ahead of the second leg, which will take place in Pretoria on Friday.