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Thursday, September 28, 2023

CAFCL: Raja complete undefeated group stage run with victory over Simba

Raja CA made it five victories from their six matches in Group C of the CAF Champions League with a 3-1 victory over Tanzania’s Simba SC late Friday evening in Casablanca. Hamza Khabba scored two goals for the Moroccan club and his second came after Simba equalized early in the second half through Jean Baleke. Raja win Group C by a seven-point gap and Simba join the Green Eagles in the competition quarterfinals as the second placed team.

Raja came out and controlled possession, looking like the more dangerous team in the first half. Forward Yousri Bouzoke picked out an open Abdelilah Hafidi with his cross in the 17th minute but the midfielder’s header touched the crossbar on its way over. The hosts did find a breakthrough soon before halftime when Simba defender Joash Onyango misjudged a bouncing ball in the penalty area, allowing Khabba to sneak in and finish past goalkeeper Aishi Manula.

Simba came out determined after the halftime break and leveled in the 49th minute when high pressing won the ball deep in Raja territory and Baleke lofted a shot over out of position Raja keeper Anas Zniti. However the Moroccan club seized back control of the match and Khabba once again got the better of Onyango in the 68th minute when he snuck past the Kenyan defender and drew a foul in the box before converting the penalty kick. Abdelraouf Benguit set up fellow substitute Mohamed Boulacsou with an excellent pass for Raja’s third goal to wrap up an excellent group stage campaign.

Highlights are below.