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Thursday, September 28, 2023

CAFCL: Raja cruise to victory past Horoya in Casablanca

Raja CA kept their spotless record intact in the CAF Champions League group stage on Saturday by defeating Guinean champions Horoya AC 2-0 in Casablanca. Hamza Khabba opened the scoring just before halftime and a late strike from substitute Naoufel Zerhouni finished the job for the Green Eagles who extend their Group C lead to five points without having conceded a goal. Horoya, in second place on four points, will look to take down Raja in two weeks when the teams meet again for the return match in Mali.

Horoya showed some confidence early on despite the intimidating atmosphere and managed to hold off Raja’s attacking intentions for long stretches. Goalkeeper Moussa Camara was in sharp form to keep out Raja’s first serious threat in the 21st minute, saving a low shot from Abdelilah Hafidi after left back Mahmoud Bentayg’s cross found its way through the box to the midfielder.

Just before halftime, however, Raja found a crucial goal that gave the hosts a big momentum boost. A pass from midfield found Jamal Harkass driving in from the right wing and the defender sent in a hard cross towards Khabba. The in form forward did excellently to take the ball down and fire a shot that just snuck through Camara, giving Khabba a goal in each group stage match for Raja this season.

The visitors could not find a clear look at the goal of Raja goalkeeper Anas Zniti with the Moroccan club’s defense putting up another sharp effort. Zniti was caught out of position after trying to come out of his box to play a ball in the 54th minute but Horoya forward Daouda Camara’s attempt from thirty yards was tame and easily cleared by defenders covering for Zniti. Late on the hosts finished off the victory when Zerhouni received a pass on the left side of the penalty area and faked past Dramane Nikiema before firing a hard shot past Camara at his near post.

Highlights of the match are below.