Chiefs face Tough test in Raja

Chiefs face Tough test in Raja
Goerge Lebese celebrates his goal

by Brian Lee

Friday Mar 13, 2015. 10:42

Kaizer Chiefs will look to gain the upper hand when they host Raja Casablanca in a first leg, first round CAF Champions League match at the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban on Saturday.

Kick-off is at 19h00.

Raja, who hail from Morocco, qualified for this stage of the Champions League after an impressive 6-2 aggregate win over Congo’s Diables Noirs in the preliminary round.

The side from Morocco ran out 4-0 winners over Diables Noirs in the first leg at home and proved to be dangerous away from home, scoring two goals in a 2-2 draw in Congo in the second leg.

Raja are extremely dangerous in attack with numerous players in the form of Kouko Guehi, Ighodaro Osaguona, Adil Karrouchy, Abdeljalil Jbira and Vianney Mabide posing a serious threat going forward.

On the home front, Raja have not been in the best form in their domestic league having not won a league match since early February. They have gone four league matches without a win which sees them place fifth on the table, nine points behind the leaders.

Chiefs qualified for this stage of the Champions League after beating Botswana’s Township Rollers 3-1 on aggregate in the preliminary round.

The South African side ran out 2-1 winners in the first leg at home, followed by a 1-0 win away from home in Botswana.

On the home front, Chiefs have struggled for form in 2015 and come into this game off the back of a 1-0 defeat to Maritzburg United in their last league match in midweek.

The loss was only Chiefs second in the league season, but still sees them place at the top of the table eight points clear of second placed Mamelodi Sundowns.

This will be the first time that Chiefs are tackling Moroccan opponents in CAF matches, though they have faced other North African sides in nine matches – their record reads four wins, two draws and three defeats.

The Amakhosi first came up against North African opponents in the second round of the 1993 African Cup of Champions Clubs where they were edged on away goals by Egypt’s Zamalek after a 2-2 aggregate draw.

Their most recent matches against North African foes came in the 2005 Champions League – they suffered a 5-2 aggregate defeat to Tunisia’s Esperance.

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