Wydad Held by Mohgreb

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar April 20, 2018 13:11

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Wydad Held by Mohgreb

By Satish Sekar at Casablanca’s Complexe Mohammed V © Satish Sekar (March 11th 2018)

Refereeing Controversy

Still stuck in mid-table obscurity Wydad Athletic Club (WAC) Casablanca didn’t get the rub of the green. Their trainer, Faouzi Benzarti, made it clear that the officiating cost his team, but refused to openly criticise referee.

A drab first half had little to mention apart from an excellent effort by Ismail el Haddad on the left of the area and an excellent last 5 minutes. A 15th minute effort by the same player beat Mohgreb’s captain and keeper Mohamed el Youssfi, but not the near post. With five minutes of the first half remaining Amin Tighazoui’s volley from just outside the area dipped too late, just clearing the crossbar. Two minutes later Tighazoui’s shot, struck with the outside of his boot, rebounded off the crossbar.

The major talking point came just after midway through the second half. Zakaria el Hachimi was tackled from behind in the box – a clear penalty, but it was not given by referee, Mohamed Nheyh. Adding insult to injury Mohammed Aoulad was later booked for simulation when trying to win a penalty in added time.

Frustrations

Benzarti refused to criticise the officials, but made it very clear that they had cost his team. “It was a clear penalty”, he said, but when offered the chance to call for VAR, he baulked, claiming it would require three years to develop and implement the technology into Moroccan football. With 5 minutes remaining Ayman el Hassouni was denied by a smart save with his legs by Mohgreb’s keeper, Mohamed el Youssfi at his near post.

Both sides earned a point – not much use to Wydad, but was that the start of Mohgreb Tétouan’s climb to safety. Their trainer, the very recently appointed Abdelouahed Ben Hssin hailed the point, asking if I thought it had been earned. He set his team up to defend for a point, and they left having earned it. Ben Hssin pointed out that rivals had earned points that weekend too.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar April 20, 2018 13:11