Friday Feb 28, 2020. 22:59
Raja Casablanca defeated TP Mazembe 2-0 in the CAF Champions League quarter-final first-leg match at the Stade Mohamed V on Friday night.
As a result, the Moroccan giants will take a 2-0 lead heading into the second-leg match on March 7 against DR Congo champions Mazembe.
The Ravens were wary of their former centre forward Ben Malango, who left Mazembe for Raja at the beginning of the current season.
It took only six minutes for the 26-year-old player to score against his former employers to make it 1-0 to Raja with Soufane Rahimi grabbing an assist.
The visitors tried to respond with a goal with the tournament top goalscorer Jackson Muleka, who has seven goals, leading their attack.
However, the Green Eagles defence which was marshalled by Badr Banoun contained a free-scoring Mazembe side in the first-half.
The score was 1-0 to Raja during the half-time break with Raja having defended very well after taking an early lead.
The Green Eagles continued to frustrate the visitors after the restart and Mazembe coach Pamphile Mihayo Kazembe decided to make a change.
The retired midfielder introduced Patou Kabangu, who was once on the books of Belgian giants RSC Anderlecht, as the Ravens searched for the equalizing goal.
However, Raja continued to attack as they looked to double their lead ahead of the second-leg encounter in DR Congo.
The hosts managed to score their second goal of the match after the Mazembe defence was exposed with 11 minutes left on the clock.
Inspirational captain Banoun was the man, who found the back of the net to make it 2-0 to Raja with Mouhssine Moutouali grabbing an assist.
The late goal sealed Raja’s 2-0 victory over Mazembe, who were unable to grab a late consolation goal.
Raja (1) 2 (Malango 6′, Banoun 79′)
Mazembe (0) 0
Raja: Zniti, Ngah, Msoud, Benoun, Achakir (Boutayeb 6′ Ahadad 75′), Ngoma, Arjoune, Zrida, Hafidi (Moutouali 56′), Malango, Rahimi.
Mazembe; Gbohouo, Mpeko, Mwape, Chongo, Ochaya, Likonza (Benya 90′), Koffi, Mika (Miche 56′), Kalaba (Ulimwengu 71′), Muleka, Tshibangu.