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Bernard Parker. Picture: BACKPAGEPIX
Bernard Parker. Picture: BACKPAGEPIX

Memories of their tense meetings against Wydad Casablanca earlier in the year are still fresh in the Kaizer Chiefs players’ minds and this will add more spice when the two resume hostilities in a Caf Champions League semifinal first-leg showdown at the Stade Mohammed V in Morocco on Saturday.

The relationship between the two sides became strained when they met in the group stage over two legs in late February and early April. Chiefs captain Bernard Parker said they have not forgotten the treatment that was handed out by their north African counterparts.

That Wydad handed Chiefs a 4-0 hiding in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, in the first leg in February, then suffered a 1-0 defeat of their own in Johannesburg in the return leg in April, has only served to add another chilli pepper ingredient to an already sizzling encounter.

“The good thing about this is we have faced them before. The first [game] was not an all right result [the 4-0 thumping]‚ it was not a good result‚” Parker said.

“The second result [the 1-0 win] was a good one because after that [defeat in the first game] we knew them‚ we knew their game plan‚ we took their game away from them and we won here at FNB stadium.

“Now that we face them again in the semifinals‚ we know them‚ we know them off by heart‚ we know them like the back of our heads.”

Parker was the hero when Chiefs beat Wydad in Johannesburg in April as he was the scorer of the lone strike that secured the important victory.

Chiefs managed the feat with nine men on the pitch after goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi was red-carded in the 40th minute. Parker headed them ahead in the 48th minute. Samir Nurković became the second Amakhosi player dismissed when was sent off in the 89th minute.

“So it is just for us to stick to a plan‚ keep concentrating and everything that has been happening out there should not affect us‚” Parker said.

“The way they have been disrespecting us‚ the way they have not been giving the respect that is needed‚ we are going to go there and take that respect from them and show that we need to be respected.”

The first meeting between the two sides dominated the headlines for all the wrong reasons and courted immense controversy after the Moroccans refused to grant visas to Chiefs‚ citing Covid-19 fears as the reason.

The game was postponed several times and it took belated intervention by the Confederation of African Football and a long overdue ultimatum before the Moroccans hastily secured Burkina Faso as a neutral venue.

The match was supposed to be played on February 13 but ended up being played on February 28 due to the chaos.


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