- Ahly played their first match after involvement in the Club World Cup
- Raja have now accumulated six points from three matches
- More matches scheduled for Saturday evening
Raja Club Athletic of Morocco picked their second successive win of the CAF Champions League group stage after seeing off Algeria’s ES Setif in Algiers on Friday. In the other Group B match, South African debutants AmaZulu picked up their first group stage win with a 1-0 victory at home in Durban against Guinea’s Horoya.
In Algiers, Moroccan giants Raja were looking to continue with their positive start to the group phase having beaten AmaZulu last weekend and they ensured they made it back to back victories with three away points.
Mohamed Zrida scored the most important goal in the 71st minute to hand Raja a second win and rake up six points in the standings.
Home side Setif began with their feet on the pedals and had an early chance in the ninth minute when Hocine Laribi slashed a cross from the right, but Abdelhak Debbari’s flick was just wide.
In the second half, it was Raja who saw most of the ball and in the 70th minute had a good chance to score when Kadima Kabangu raced to a lobbed ball behind the defense, but his effort to lift the ball over the advancing keeper went over.
However, a minute later, they scored in exact similar fashion, this time Zrida running on to a ball and perfectly placing it over the advancing keeper.
Setif almost grabbed a late equalizer when Abdelmoumen Djabou’s corner found fellow substitute Zoubir Motrani unmarked at the edge of the six yard box but his header came off the crossbar.
Elsewhere in Durban, South African debutants AmaZulu meanwhile earned their maiden group phase victory at their first ever appearance in the competition, Amigo Memela’s beautiful 31st minute goal proving all the difference.
The visitors had been off to a better start and dominated the first quarter of an hour with Pape N’Diaye shooting wide in the fifth minute and Morlaye Sylla having a belter from range go straight to the keeper.
But the home side slowly grew into the game and they eventually got into the lead in the 31st minute when Memela beautifully flicked the ball into the net from an Augustine Mulenga cross from the right.
Five minutes to the break, Zambian Mulenga almost provided a second with another cross this time from the left, but Abraham Majok’s header was blocked a yard from the line by Khadim Diaw.
In the second half, Horoya came back determined to get back into the game and had the bulk of chances. In the 49th minute they came close twice, but couldn’t punish a mistake from an AmaZulu defender.
Sylla picked the ball on the right after a poor cross-field pass but his effort at goal came off the upright while Boniface Haba’s attempt with an acrobatic kick off the rebound went wide.
Seven minutes to time as Horoya mounted the pressure, Baffour Kyei came close with a ferocious freekick which was punched away by the keeper.
In the early kick off in Omdurman, defending champions AL Ahly kicked off their group phase campaign with a goalless draw with home side Al Hilal in Omdurman on Friday afternoon.
It was a tightly contested fixture with few chances, all far in between. The home side had the first go at goal early on in the game when Salah Eldin Al Hassan picked out Eid Mugadam with a pass inside the box, but the latter’s shot sailed straight to the keeper’s arms.
On the other end, Ahly also had a chance this time right back Mohamed Hany picking up the ball inside the box off a corner, but his shot was easily gathered by the keeper. Hany provided Ahly’s second chance 10 minutes to the break when he curled in a cross from the right, but Ahmed Mohamed’s header went over.
In the second half the tie was once again close. Seven minutes after the restart a long ball from deep in their half found the run of left back Aly Maaloul. However, his low cross inside the box with Mohamed Sherif waiting to tap in was punched away by the keeper.
In the 64th minute, Sherif had a chance at goal when substitute Mohamed Magdy Afsha headed the ball to his path, but the striker’s effort on the volley went over.