Caf CC: Raja thrash ASEC, regain control of Group A

Raja Casablanca regained control of the 2018 Caf Confederation Cup Group A after defeating ASEC Mimosas 4-0 at the Stade Mohammed V in Morocco on Sunday.

The win saw Moroccan giants Raja return to the top of the group standings, while Ivory Coast’s Mimosas remained fourth on the table.

The Green Eagles did most of the attacking in the early exchanges and they deservedly took the lead through their centre forward Mahmoud Benhalib.

The 22-year-old striker hit the back of the net to make it 1-0 to Raja – 18 minutes into the encounter with Mimosas goalkeeper Aboubacar Bamba well-beaten.

The Black and Yellows defence was unsettled after conceding an early goal with lively attacker Benhalib causing havoc for the visitors with his movement upfront.

A mistake by the Mimosas defence led to Benhalib snatching the ball in the 27th minute and he pushed forward with the visitors’ backline exposed.

Benhalib then step up Zakaria Hadraf and the latter beat former Mimosas shot-stopper Bamba to make it 2-0 to Raja as the hosts’ pressure paid off.

The Green Eagles piled pressure on the Black and Yellows, and they nearly extended their lead four minutes before the half-hour mark.

Bamba produced two superb saves to deny Raja duo Anas Jabroun and Soufiane Rahimi. The keeper stopped Jabroun’s effort, before saving Rahimi’s attempt from the rebound.

However, the Mimosas goal-minder was well-beaten on the stroke of halftime and it was Hadraf, who hit the back of the net to make it 3-0 to Raja.

The score was 3-0 to Raja at halftime with 28-year-old Hadraf having grabbed a first-half brace.

Burkina Faso striker Ahmed Traore was introduced by Mimosas at the beginning of the second-half as the visitors looked to pull one back and push for more goals.

However, the hosts were awarded a penalty just after the hour-mark and the Green Eagles had an opportunity to extend their lead against the Black, and Yellows.

Benhalib then stepped up, and he converted from the spot-kick to make it 4-0 to Raja with the attacker grabbing his second goal of the game.

Two-goal hero Hadraf was pulled out by the Green Eagles and he was replaced by fellow attacker Hassan Bouain with 16 minutes left on the clock as the hosts searched for more goals.

However, the visitors defended much better in the closing stages of the game and they managed to contain Benhalib, who was looking to grab his hat-trick.

Mimosas were unable to grab a late consolation goal and ultimately, Raja emerged 4-0 winners on the night.



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