PITSO MOSIMANE came short in his bid for coaching immortality in African football in Casablanca, Morocco, on Monday night.
The South African gaffer would have become the first coach to win THREE straight CAF Champions League titles, had he guided Al Ahly to victory.
However, the record winners crashed to a 0-2 defeat at the hands of Wydad Casablanca of Morocco in the final.
Moroccan gaffer, Walid Regragui, guided Wydad to victory.
“He’s a young technician, it’s his first African title and I’m happy for him, he’s a friend,” said Mosimane at the press conference, stressing this victory showed the quality of African coaches.
“Africa has enormous potential in terms of technicians and this title proves it.”
Mosimane was chasing his fourth Champions League title, including two with the Egyptian giants.
He won his first with Mamelodi Sundowns in 2016.
“We applauded the titles won by African coaches during the 209 and 2021 AFCONs. The quality is there and not just in Europe,” he said.
“In football, especially in the final, you don’t ask who played well. The question is who won the match and tonight, Al Ahly failed to do so.
“It was a great final but we lacked success in front of goal, we managed to get chances but the ball didn’t find the nets,” he said
Mosimane was not happy with their opponents playing in their home ground.
“The best team today is the one who lost,” said Mosimane before launching an attack on the CAF decision to host the game in Morocco.
“We can only talk about winning or losing when we play on a neutral ground and when both sides have an equal number of fans. I think those who were behind this decision are happy today.”
The South African gaffer also hit back at whoever criticised his tactics on the day reminding everyone about the same formation in the win over Raja Casablanca.
“Some people ask me about the formation and the game-plan because I lost, but I remind them that Al-Ahly beat Raja (in the quarter-finals) with the same formation.
“Football is about scoring goals. Percy Tau missed an opportunity and so did Mohamed Sharif.” Moroccan fans came out to the streets shortly after Wydad AC of Casablanca were crowned the CAF Champions League winners on Monday night.
“We are very happy, the team (WAC) was able to reach the end and we won the cup and we deserved it, everything was good, the players were very good, they satisfied us, and long live the WAC,” said a fan.
With Congolese coach Florent Ibenge in charge of Berkane, who won the Confederation Cup, it means the two major inter-club tournaments in Africa were won by clubs coached by African coaches.
All the four coaches in the two finals were Africans. The landscape has changed significantly in the past two decades.
In the past, African coaches were struggling to make an impact on the continent.
Zimbabwe’s Sunday Chidzambwa guided Dynamos to the final of the 1998 CAF Champions League where they lost to ASEC Mimosas of Cote d’Ivoire.
Nicknamed Mhofu, Chidzambwa is the most successful coach in COSAFA Cup history with four titles won in 2005, 2009, 2017 and 2018.
He has NEVER been beaten outright in a COSAFA Cup match, having coached in 19 games
Monday was also a good night for the COSAFA region with South African referee, Victor Gomez, taking charge of the final. – Cafonline/Africanfootball.com