Yahya Jabrane, the captain of Wydad Athletic Club, is confident in his team’s ability to defend their TotalEnergies Caf Champions League title as they prepare to face Egyptian giants Al Ahly in the second leg of the final on Sunday.
Having suffered a 2-1 defeat in the first leg in Cairo, the Moroccan club will enter the return fixture in Casablanca with a deficit. However, Jabrane remains optimistic and believes they can overturn the result to secure a convincing victory on home soil.
In an exclusive interview with Caf TV, Jabrane expressed his confidence and provided a preview of the highly anticipated clash at the Stade Mohamed V Complex in Casablanca.
“As the team captain, I feel fortunate and proud to participate in a second consecutive Champions League final. This is a significant achievement for me, and I hope we can bring joy to our fans at the end of the 90 minutes,” Jabrane stated.
Having previously defeated Al Ahly to clinch the title in 2017 and last season, Jabrane hopes to make it three in a row by overcoming the Egyptian giants once again.
“Every final is unique, and this season, they have a very strong team with more experience than us. However, we will be well-prepared for the match, and hopefully, we can secure victory against them once again,” added the midfielder.
Jabrane acknowledged the challenging journey Wydad has faced in the TotalEnergies Caf Champions League this season, noting the increased competitiveness of the teams.
“Our journey has been more demanding compared to last season. African football has witnessed significant growth. There were matches where we could have been defeated, but our experience helped us. We have a team culture that has taught us how to find ways to win, and that’s how we made it to the final,” emphasized Jabrane.
He highlighted their determination by overcoming tough opponents in the lead-up to the final, including a semifinal victory against South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, despite doubts surrounding their chances.
“Our match against Mamelodi Sundowns was challenging, as they were considered strong contenders for the title. For us, it was a do-or-die situation in the second leg, and even when we conceded the first goal, we never gave up. The second goal came late, but our hope remained intact. We kept fighting, and that determination was ingrained in us,” recalled Jabrane.
Looking ahead to the second leg of the final, Jabrane hopes to maintain the same spirit and momentum, aiming to replicate last season’s success when they defeated Ahly 2-0 in Casablanca to lift the trophy, courtesy of Zouhair El Moutaraji’s brace.
“We hope for a similar outcome. Why not?” affirmed Jabrane.
The final will take place on Sunday evening.