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Debutants Vipers hit for five in CAF Champions League

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Raja Club Athletic celebrate their victory over Vipers. PHOTO/Raja
  • Vipers were beaten 5-0 by Raja Club Athletic
  • They are playing the group stages for the first time ever
  • Zamalek were stunned by CR Belouizdad in the other match

Ugandan champions Vipers SC were handed a rude welcome into the group stages of the CAF Champions League after being thrashed 5-0 by Moroccan giants Raja Club Athletic in Casablanca on Friday night.

Goalkeeper Alfred Mudekereza had a performance to forget as a string of errors aided Raja to the massive win.

Hamza Khabba, Jamal Harkass, Mohamed Zrida, Yousri Bouzouk and Roger Aholou had a goal each as Raja kicked off their campaign with an emphatic victory that puts them comfortably in charge, top of Group C.

Raja swung into a 2-0 lead within 11 minutes, thanks to howlers from Mudekereza.

In the fifth minute, the goalkeeper let in a seemingly harmless looping header from Khabba after the latter rose just inside the box to connect to a Khabba cross from the right.

Six minutes later, his handling of a freekick was messy, pushing it into the feet of a Moroccan forward who struck against the bar. The rebound fell kindly on Harkass who made no mistake from few yards out to tap into an empty net.

Concede before landing shot on target 

Vipers goalkeeper Muderekeza had an evening to forget. PHOTO/Raja

Vipers had conceded twice, even before testing the opposing keeper Anas Zniti. They landed their first effort on target after 34 minutes when Martin Kizza curled a freekick from his left foot, but it ended up in a routine save for Zniti.

Four minutes later, it was 3-0 when Zrida scored with a first time shot after a well weighted cutback from Harkass found him well placed in the box.

With a three-goal cushion at the break, Raja were comfortable. Vipers started the second half with some pace, but they couldn’t hold on for long.

Raja made it 4-0 in the 59th minute when Bouzouk got his goal with a little dink over the keeper after being put through by Khabba.

Aholou then completed the job for the home side with 20 minutes to go, a low shot from the edge of the box perching into the bottom left after a cross from the left was deflected to his feet. Raja continued to dominate possession, keeping the ball well and passing around the pack.

They held on to the healthy lead for a win that will see them approach the next round of matches with some ease.

Meanwhile in the early kick off, Cameroonian striker Leonel Wamba scored the only goal of the game in Cairo as Algerian champions CR Belouizdad started their group phase hunt with a vital win away from home, beating Zamalek 1-0 in their backyard.

Scored winner from penalty spot 

Action between Zamalek and CRB. PHOTO/Zamalek

The star of Cameroon’s campaign at the 2017 Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations slotted the winner from the penalty spot in the second half as the Algerian champions picked up a statement win to propel them top of Group D on match day one.

Belouizdad were awarded a penalty after Nabil Dunga was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the box as he went to ground to attempt a block on Houssem Eddine Mrezigue’s shot from the edge of the area.

Before that, chances were few and far in between and Zamalek’s best chance fell on Ahmed ‘Zizo’ Sayed whose curling freekick from the edge of the area went over.

Late on, Zamalek had chances with Zizo seeing his shot from the near post saved by the keeper while Dunga had a chance to make amends in added time, but couldn’t connect Zizo’s cross on target.

Zamalek, who failed to make it off the group stages last season, now have work to do again, to gain ground in the group.

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