JOHANNESBURG - Stand-in Wydad Casablanca goalkeeper Youssef el Motie starred as the CAF Champions League title-holders scraped into the semi-finals with a 4-3 victory on penalties over Simba of Tanzania.
Backed by a passionate 45,000 sell-out crowd at the Stade Mohammed V, the Moroccan outfit won the quarter-final second leg 1-0 thanks to a 24th-minute goal from Senegalese Bouly Sambou.
The result in Casablanca levelled the aggregate score at 1-1 after Simba had built a 1-0 lead following the first leg in Dar es Salaam last weekend.
El Motie, deputising for injured Ahmed Tagnaouti, saved the third and fifth Simba spot kicks taken by Shomari Kapombe and Zambian Clatous Chama while Wydad converted the four they took.
It was a heartbreaking exit for Simba, who had been given little chance of success after being paired with the three-time African champions.
Victory for Wydad means a seventh semi-finals appearance since 2016 in the premier African club competition -- a remarkable record of consistency.
They will face Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa or Chabab Belouizdad of Algeria in the semi-finals during May with the Pretoria outfit their likely opponents.
Sundowns hold a 4-1 lead when they host Belouizdad in one of three quarter-final second legs scheduled for Saturday.