A ten-man ASEC Mimosas suffered a slender 1-0 loss to Raja Casablanca in a CAF Confederation Cup, Group A match at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny on Wednesday night.
Goalkeeper Abdoul Cisse was sent off midway through the second half after giving a penalty away which in the end was the difference between the two sides.
It was a slow start to the game with both sides feeling each other out in the early stages and no team was able to take the ascendancy.
ASEC suffered a massive setback in the 21st minute when Alex Angbandji had to leave the field injured and was replaced by Zana Oumar Coulibaly.
With the loss of their influential midfielder, ASEC’s creative play stuttered a bit and that allowed the visiting side to take control of the match.
However, despite having the lion’s share of the possession Raja Casablanca could not find the right pass in the final third as the two sides entered the half time tunnel all-square.
The second half saw the home side start on the back foot as the Moroccan side mounted attack after attack, but their finishing in front of goal was poor.
Nonetheless, Raja Casablanca continued to pile on the pressure and were rewarded in the 68th minute when ASEC goalkeeper Abdoul Cisse pulled down a player inside the box.
Consequently, the referee pointed to the penalty spot and to add insult to injury he showed Cisse a straight red card for his foul.
After lengthy protesting from the ASEC, Salaheddine Bahi stepped up for the visitors and converted from the penalty spot, 1-0.
ASEC tried to find their way back into the match and threw players forward in search of an equaliser, but they were unable to salvage anything from the match as it ended 1-0 in favour of the Moroccans.
The win sees the Moroccan side go to top of Group A with five points from three games, jumping above AS Vita and Aduana Stars (who are on four points), while the loss for the Ivorian side sees them placed at the bottom with three points.
The Ivorian side will be looking for revenge when they face Raja Casablanca in two weeks’ time in Morocco on Sunday, June 29.
ASEC Mimosas (0) 0
Raja Casablanca (0) 1 (Bahi 74’ pen)
ASEC Mimosas: Cisse, Sanogo, Gloudoueu, Dosso (Yao 46’), Badie, Angbandji (Oumar 21’), Diomande, Samake (Nougbele 63’), Koanda, W. Coulibaly.
Raja Casablanca: Zniti, Lakohal, Hadraf (Douik 83’), Jabroun (Mabidi 59’), Benoun, Bouain (Benhalib 62’), Niasse, Jbira, Rahimi, Bahi, Boutayeb.