Both teams squared off in this first-leg tie hoping to take on the advantage into the second-leg which comes up at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa next week.
Sundowns got a penalty which Abdelmounaim Boutouil converted in the 75th minute to restore parity after Rivaldo Coetzee's own goal few minutes before the break had given Wydad the lead.
However, it was the home side who reigned supreme in the end as Anas Serrhat won it for the Red Devils in the 79th minute, to set up what will be a cracking second leg in the finals of the African Football League.
A thrilling first leg comes to a close! The #AFLFinal second leg awaits in Pretoria 👆
— Mamelodi Sundowns FC (@Masandawana) November 5, 2023
Let's delve into the match summary!
Rivaldo Coetzee's own goal handed Wydad a first-half lead
Wydad Casablanca made their intentions known early on as Montasser Lahtimi beat both Abdelmounaim Boutouil and Grant Kekana to cut inside from the right side and power a shot which Rivaldo Coetzee timely blocked.
The Egyptian champions continued with their superior play, pegging Sundowns deep in their area who struggled to string decent passes to build momentum from the back.
Having given the home side so much respect, the Brazilians finally came into the game and registered their first attempt on goal.
Nku raced down the left flank and rifled a shot which landed on the side net when he had a clean go at the goal.
On the other end, Wydad would make their dominant start to the game count a few minutes before the break.
Lahtimi, who had been menacing for the home side, wiggled his way over Boutouil and Nku to put in a fine cross which Coetzee turned at his own goal to give Wydad the lead.
But just before the break, Lahtimi who created his team's first goal was taken off having received a bad knock.
The first-leg of the African Football League final ended with Wydad leading 1-0.
A second half that both teams scored
Mamelodi Sundowns returned with some level of bite in the second half and showed true intentions to restore parity.
Wydad stood strong to block every attempt from the visitors, but as time wore on Sundowns' coach Rhulani Mokwena made changes.
Lesiba Nku and Aubrey Modiba left the field for Gaston Sirino and Neo Maema in the 68th minute.
The changes brought new energy and drive for the Brazilians who attacked and got a corner.
The loose ball from the corner kick fell into the box and Masandawana had two shots blocked but the referee would have a look at it.
The VAR check resulted in a penalty for a handball. Defender Boutouil made no mistakes as he dispatched the spotkick to level up things in the 75th minute!
Nonetheless, four minutes after Sundowns drew level, the Red Devils retook the lead from Serrhat in the 79th minute!
The rest of the minutes saw no other goal as Wydad AC ended 2-1 on top to take the initiative into the second leg which comes up on 11th November with a crucial away goal for the South African side.
Sundowns have not beaten Wydad in three matches now, and what better way to end the run if they can get the job done at home!
Confirmed lineups for Wydad AC vs Mamelodi Sundowns
Wydad AC: Motie (GK); Amloud, Harkass, Aboulfath, Allah; Lahtimi, Jabrane, Draoui; Boussefiane, Haimoud, Bahri.
Mamelodi Sundowns: Williams (GK); Modiba, Coetzee, Kekana, Boutouil; Mudau, Nku, Mokoena, Allende; Zwane, Maseko.
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 weeks ago