AS Vita defeated Raja Casablanca 3-1 in the return leg of the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup final at Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa on Sunday night, but it was not enough to claim the title.
The Green Eagles’ 3-0 win in the first leg in Casablanca last weekend underpinned a 4-3 aggregate triumph, with the Black Dolphins unable to overturn the deficit.
Vita would have hoped for an early goal to spark some nerves in their opponents, but Raja were solid in the opening minutes and established a strong foothold in the game.
In fact, the Green Eagles added to their overall advantage in the 21st minute, with Abdelilah Hafidi getting the better of goalkeeper Lukong Bongaman. At 4-0 up, and with an away goal in the bag, the Moroccans were all but home and dry.
Yet they still suffered a worrying injury blow at the half hour mark when they were forced to replace goal-scorer Hafidi with youngster Mohamed Douik.
Vita pulled a goal back on the aggregate score line in injury time at the end of the first half, with Makusu Mundele netting to see the game locked at 1-1 heading into the interval.
The DR Congo giants struggled to get on top of the game in the second half, but they soon struck a pair of quickfire goals, with Mukoko Batezadio and Fabrice Ngoma netting in the 71st and 74th minutes respectively.
With Raja’s aggregate lead now down to 4-3, the chance of a stunning comeback was very much in the air for the Black Dolphins.
Yet they were unable to get any more efforts past goalkeeper Anas Zniti, allowing Raja to breathe a sigh of relief as they claimed their second title in the competition (the first arrived in 2003 when it was still known as the CAF Cup).
Raja, as Confederation Cup winners, will go on to play Champions League winners Esperance de Tunis in the CAF Super Cup in Rades, Tunisia on December 29.
AS Vita (1) 3 (Mundele 45+2’, Batezadio 71’, Ngoma 74’)
Raja Casablanca (1) 1 (Hafidi 21’)
Raja Casablanca won 4-3 on aggregate
Vita: Bongaman, Shabani, Botuli, Kupa, Muzinga, Ngudikama, Emomo (Sita 83’), Ngoma, Muloko (Mukombe 58’), Omba, Mundele
Raja: Zniti, Al Warfali, Banoun, Boutayeb, Achchakir, Mabidi (Oulhaj 86’), Niasse, Hadraf (Bouain 75’), Hafidi (Douik 31’), Benhalib, Rahimi