Raja Casablanca made clear that it was not just home advantage that helped them the first time to victory over Egypt’s Pyramids FC by going to Cairo and winning 3-0 in the return match on Sunday in CAF Confederation Cup play. Raja remain perfect at the top of Group D and have top spot locked up with a game to spare. Back-to-back losses for Pyramids leaves them even with Zambia’s Nkana FC on six points, who were able to win 1-0 in Ndola against Tanzania’s Namungo.
Like last week, Raja did their damage early to put Pyramids on their heels. A 15th minute corner-kick was well served by star midfielder Soufiane Rahimi for Congolese player Fabrice Ngoma to head home with power. Raja’s other Congolese player, on-fire striker Ben Malango, provided the second in the 42nd minute when Rahimi’s chipped in free-kick was headed over for Malango to nudge in with a sliding finish.
Rahimi provided a moment of class to complete the humiliation of the Egyptian team in the 77th minute. Doing their part, Pyramids took a quick free-kick that went right to Raja with the hosts defense exposed. Playing a long ball to send Rahimi racing in, the playmaker faked out veteran defender Ahmed Fathi a few times before shifting the ball onto his left foot for a smooth goal.
Nkana did well to get the required three points in Ndola, keeping them in contention for a spot in the quarter-final. An evenly contested affair resulted in limited opportunities for either side, particularly in the first-half. However, the Copperbelt side stepped up their focus after the break and began to test Namungo goalkeeper Jonathan Nahimana more frequently. Nkana substitute Freddy Tshimenga scored his first CAF Confederation Cup goal of the season with a well taken low first-time effort from just outside the penalty area in the 71st minute. The next CAFCC match for Nkana, another home encounter against Pyramids FC, will determine whether they have any shot of advancing.
Check out the goals in the highlights videos below.