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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Botola Pro: Efficient ASFAR storm to victory, Raja draw on Kebaier’s debut

The fortunes of Raja CA did not improve after the hiring of new manager Mondher Kebaier this week. On Friday the Tunisian tactician oversaw a 0-0 draw on his Botola Pro debut as the Green Eagles could only manage a point on the road against Chabab Mohammédia. Earlier in the day Royal Army club ASFAR continued their excellent form to start the 2022-23 season with a third consecutive win against Difaâ El Jadida. The team from Rabat moved into first place for now with ten points from four games following their 4-1 result at home against DHJ.

ASFAR did not necessarily dominate but were very efficient by converting their opportunities and taking advantage of mistakes from the visitors. Talented young striker Reda Slim converted a penalty kick in the 7th minute before Ivorian forward Joseph Guede Gnadou pounced on an awful mistake by DHJ goalkeeper Mohamed Chennouf to finish into an empty net after the keeper miskicked a clearance attempt. Kenyan forward Masoud Juma hit one back for DHJ with a penalty kick before halftime but Adam Ennaffati’s two goals in the second half put ASFAR beyond reach.

Last season’s runners-up Raja showed better signs against a capable Chabab side but could not break down the hosts’ strong defense. Walid Sabbar came close on a free kick attempt for the visitors before halftime but Chabab keeper Soufiane Barrouhou reacted quickly to parry away Sabbar’s effort. Barrouhou turned in a solid performance that saw him continue to frustrate the Raja attack with Zakaria Hadraf failing to convert a couple of chances. Chabab had an excellent opportunity to win it late on but after a poor giveaway from the Raja defense went right to former Raja forward Mahmoud Benhalib but he turned his shot wide.

Highlights from both of Friday’s games are below.

ASFAR 4-1 Difaâ El Jadida

Chabab Mohammedia 0-0 Raja CA