Raja Club Athletic player celebrates after scoring a goal during the African Confederation Cup soccer match between Raja Club Athletic of Morocco and Enyimba FC of Nigeria, on 24 October 2018 at Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca , Morocco
Wednesday Oct 24, 2018. 23:08
Raja Casablanca have moved into the CAF Confederation Cup final after they defeated Enyimba 2-1 (3-1 on aggregate) at Stade Mohamed V on Wednesday evening.
The Moroccan giants advance to meet DR Congo heavyweights AS Vita (who convincingly beat Egypt’s Al Masry) in the championship matches, while the Nigerians were left to reflect on their failure to reach a first continental final since 2004.
Enyimba enjoyed the first scoring chances, with Stephen Chukwude shooting just wide of the mark in the 13th minute, while Chinedu Udeagha arrived late to strike a low shot on goal a short while later but was denied by a fine save from goalkeeper Anas Znit.
Raja took control of the game as the half wore on, and began creating clear opportunities as the half-time break approached. Zakaria Hadraf notably shot just wide in the final minute of regulation time, but a mere 30 seconds later he stole the ball off defender Isiaka Oladuntoye, rounded the goalkeeper and tapped into an empty net to make it 1-0 on the night.
The Nigerians started the second half in a positive fashion and almost levelled the game in the 50th minute, as Wasiu Alalade’s snap shot from outside the box brushed the outside of Zniti’s left-hand post.
Raja then comfortably held the visitors at bay and controlled the game, even doubling their advantage with a late own goal from the unfortunate Oladuntoye, who deflected a left-wing cross into his own net in the 88th minute.
However, just a minute later, Enyimba scored a goal seemingly out of nowhere, with substitute Abdulrahman Bashir sweeping home a fine shot from outside of the box to reduce the deficit to 2-1 on the night and 3-1 overall.
That was as good as it got for the West Africans, with the Green Eagles advancing to meet AS Vita in the two-legged final which will be played in late November and early December.
Raja Casablanca (1) 2 (Hadraf 45+1’, Oladuntoye og 88’)
Enyimba (0) 1 (Bashir 89’)
Raja won 3-1 on aggregate
Raja: Zniti, Boutayeb, Alwarfaly, Benoun, Jbira, Achchakir, Mabidi, Niasse, Hadraf (Salah 88’), Benhalib (Hafidi 72’), Rahimi (Iajour 79’)
Enyimba: Afelokhai, Abaologu, Anaemena, Oladuntoye, Ikouwem, Oladepo, Dimgba (Bashir 86’), Alalade (Osadiaye 81’), Udeagha, Aputazie, Chukwude (Adetunji 61’).