Sunday Nov 25, 2018. 23:11
Raja Casablanca overcame AS Vita Club 3-0 in the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup final first-leg match at the Stade Mohammed V in Morocco on Sunday.
Morocco's Raja will now take on DR Congolese giants Vita in the second-leg clash in Kinshasa on Sunday, 2 December 2018.
The Green Eagles dominated the match from the start and they should have grabbed an early goal in the first 15 minutes of the game.
They created goal-scoring opportunities which were missed by Mahmoud Benhalib, Ibrahima Niasse and Soufiane Rahimi.
The Black Dolphins then suffered a big a blow as their star striker Jean-Marc Makusu Mundele went down injured as the half-hour mark approached.
The marksman, who has scored 10 goals in this year's Confederation Cup, was replaced by fellow striker Emomo Eddy Ngoyi.
The hosts piled pressure on the Vita defence, but they were very wasteful as the likes of Benhalib and Rahimi continued to miss the target.
Vita goalkeeper Nelson Lukong had to produce a great save to deny Benhalib from close range just before the half-time break.
The score was 0-0 at half-time following first-half which was dominated by a wasteful Raja side.
The hosts continued their dominance after the restart with Benhalib working tirelessly upfront for the Green Eagles.
The deadlock was finally broken a minute into the second-half and the lethal forward was involved with the Black Dolphins defence exposed.
Benhalib set-up Rahimi with a backheel and the latter hit the back of the net to make it 1-0 to Raja much to the delight of the home crowd.
It was soon 2-0 to Raja as Rahimi scored with a powerful low shot which beat Lukong hands down a minute after the hour-mark.
The momentum was the Green Eagles and they were awarded a penalty in the 63rd minute when Zakaria Hadraf was fouled inside the box by Yannick Bangala.
Vita defender Bangala was then sent off and Benhalib hit the back of the net from the resultant penalty to make it 3-0 to Raja in the 66th minute.
The Black Dolphins had to grab a crucial away goal in the closing stages of the game in order to boost their chances of winning the continental tournament.
Vita striker Ngoyi forced Raja keeper Anas Zniti into a decent save at the near post in the dying minutes of the game.
Ultimately, Raja ran out 3-0 winners over Vita, who could not grab an important away goal on the night.
Raja (0) 3 (Rahimi 47', 61', Benhalib 66')
Vita Club (0) 0
Raja XI: Zniti, Boutayeb, Al-Warfali, Banoun (Lakohal 90'+2), Achchakir, Niasse, Mabidi (Douik 85'), Hadraf, Hafidi, Rahimi (Iajour 76'), Benhalib.
Vita XI: Lukong, Shabani, Makwekwe, Litombo, Ngonda, Tonombe, Munganga, Ngoma, Batezadio, Mundele (Ngoyi 24'), Lukombe (Botuli 73).