At stake is a place in the lucrative group phase for the overall winners while the losers descend to play-offs in the second-tier CAF Confederation Cup. The clubs also met in a last 16 tie five years ago with Wydad winning 1-0 at home and losing 2-0 away only to be reinstated when Mazembe were kicked out for using an ineligible player.
(1.3 million euros) to the winners.
They needed the help of an own goal to draw 2-2 with modest Saint George in Ethiopia and took 85 minutes to score the lone second leg goal via a Jonathan Bolingi penalty. After falling behind just before half-time in Casablanca to an Abdellatif Noussir goal, Reda Hajhouj converted a second half penalty amid Mazembe protests that the foul was outside the box. Previously successful with Moroccan and Algerian clubs, former Togo handler Velud accepts that he faces one of his greatest coaching challenges.
"Winning trophies is a habit at Mazembe and you are aware of that although I was not given specific objectives when signing a one-year contract," he said.
"Continual success in the CAF Champions League is very important to Mazembe because winning the competition secures a place in the FIFA Club World Cup."
Wydad coach, twice Real Madrid manager and former Liverpool and Wales striker John Toshack has mixed emotions ahead of the second leg at the 20,000-seat Stade TP Mazembe.
"Our first leg performance was among the best since I joined the club two years ago, but it is likely to be a very different game in DR Congo.
"We will be playing on an artificial surface in an atmosphere unique to Africa. What does count in our favour is not conceding at home."
While Hajhouj poses an obvious threat with five CAF goals this season, Mazembe have yet to find a successor to Tanzania striker Mbwana Aly Samatta, who has moved to Belgium. Mazembe and Wydad are among nine Champions League winners seeking group places and just one of the eight second legs does not involve a
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