CAF Champions League: Raja storm into quarter-finals


Morocco’s Raja Casablanca qualify for the quarter-finals of the 2022/2023 CAF Champions League after winning 3-1 away to Horoya AC on Tuesday.

Morocco’s Raja Casablanca became the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals of the 2022/2023 CAF Champions League after winning 3-1 away to Horoya AC on Tuesday.

The victory in Guinea maintains Raja’s 100 percent record and they remain top of Group C with maximum 12 points.

They are six ahead of Tanzania’s Simba who moved to second after edging out Ugandan debutants Vipers SC 1-0 in the other group fixture in Dar es Salaam.

Walid Sabbar scored twice in between Mohamed Nahiri’s goal in a match which saw both sides finishing with 10 men each.

Horoya’s first-choice goalkeeper Moussa Camara was sent off after 26 minutes for a second yellow card after handling the ball outside the penalty area.

The hosts had to sacrifice midfielder Naby Soumah for their second-choice goalkeeper, Sierra Leone’s Mohamed Kamara.

In first half added time, Raja were also reduced to 10 men after Jamal Harkass was sent off for a last-man tackle on Abdoulaye Camara.

The visitors took a 2-0 lead at the break, with Sabbar flicking home from close range a cross from the left off a short corner-kick for the opener after six minutes.

Three minutes to the break, they doubled their tally with Nahiri’s brilliantly-struck free-kick which curled beyond the wall and into the roof of the net.

In the second half, Raja continued dominating in spite of being the away team and they added their third in the 63rd minute.

That was when Sabbar made a daunting run on the left before cutting into the penalty box and slamming a low shot beyond the goalkeeper.

Horoya pulled one back six minutes later, the first time Raja were conceding in the group stages when Pape Ndiaye shot from inside the penalty box after a good build-up.

Raja should have completely killed off the game with seven minutes left when they won a penalty kick.

That was after goalkeeper Kamara had brought down Naoufel Zerhouni inside the penalty box, but Mohamed Zrida struck his effort wide.

Elsewhere in Dar es Salaam, hosts Simba SC completed a home and away double over Uganda’s Vipers in the East African derby.

It helped to raise their points tally to six and keep their quarter-final hopes alive.

Clatous Chama scored the lone goal for Wekundu wa Msimbazi who now need to earn at least four points from their next matches to qualify for the next round.

Vipers’ hopes are now reduced to mathematical chances as they are bottom with one point.

They have an away trip to Horoya and a home duel against Raja and they must win both to have a realistic chance.

Chama scored Simba’s winner at the stroke of half-time when he squeezed the ball between the goalkeeper’s legs from a tight angle on the left.

Before that, the home side which enjoyed 62 percent of possession in the opening half had good chances.

One of these was when Saidi Ntibazonkiza was denied by an acrobatic save by the goalkeeper after a swinging shot, before his header came off the bar.

In the second half, Vipers came off pushing to get back into the game.

They thought they had scored their first goal in the group stage, but Yunus Sentamu’s effort was chalked off for offside.

In the 89th minute, Abubakar Lawal should have done better when a recycled corner-kick was brought back into the area.

But his effort with an audacious backheel spiraled straight to the goalkeeper’s arms.(NAN)

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.