Late treble seals Wydad play-off win
Congo-born Fabrice Ondama broke the deadlock after 87 minutes at the Military Academy Stadium in Cairo and Ayoub al-Khaliqi and Mohcine Iajour struck deep in stoppage time to secure Wydad a Group B place.
Ondama added to his brace against Nigerian visitors Kano Pillars in the second round after finding space in the area before firing a low shot past goalkeeper Juma Kaseja into the corner. Simba were caught napping for the second goal four minutes into additional time as the defence stood still expecting an offside flag that was never raised and defender Al-Khaliqi burst through to score. Iajour completed the rout two minutes later with a superb solo goal, dribbling past several Tanzanians before beating Kaseja at his near post.
North African attractions
Success for the Moroccans means their pool will be composed of clubs from the north of the continent with record six-time champions Al-Ahly of Egypt, Esperance of Tunisia and Mouloudia Alger of Algeria completing the line-up. Wydad return to the Egyptian capital in mid-July to face Ahly in their first game, which will be staged behind closed doors as punishment for fans intimidating ZESCO United of Zambia players in the last round.
It will be the first appearance at this stage of the premier Pan-African competition for Wydad, whose arch domestic foes Raja Casablanca are in Group A with Al-Hilal of Sudan, Cotonsport Garoua of Cameroon and Enyimba of Nigeria.
Wydad and Simba were defeated by TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo in previous rounds only to be reinstated when the defending champions were disqualified for fielding ineligible defender Janvier Bokungu.
Both sides came into the tie in the wake of disappointing results. Wydad sustained a shock home loss in the final round of the Moroccan championship, slumping to third place behind Raja and Moghreb Fes and missing out on the 2012 Champions League. Simba however part ways with Zambian coach Patrick Phiri after being pipped by Young Africans on goal difference for the Tanzanian title, while seeing key players Patrick Ochan and Mbwana Samata moved to Mazembe.