June 14, 2021

Caf Confederation Cup: Raja Casablanca sweat past 10-man Namungo FC

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The Tanzanian side had to do duty for the better part of the second half after Haruna Shamte was red-carded

Morocco’s Raja Casablanca fought to earn a 1-0 win over Tanzania’s Namungo FC in a Caf Confederation Cup Group D tie on Wednesday at Mohamed V stadium.

Sofiane Rahimi scored the only goal that gave the North African side a slim win through a penalty in the second half.

Casablanca piled the pressure on Namungo from the first minute and the latter saw their defender Hamisi Swalehe yellow carded in the seventh minute. In the 22nd minute, Haruna Shamte received his first yellow card as the Tanzanian ambassadors tried hard to deal with the incessant host.

Zakaria El Wadi of Casablanca was booked in the 38th minute as the game turned into a more physical contest but Namungo managed to end the first half without conceding despite the fact they spent most of the time at their own half.

Protus Kirenge handled the ball in the 53rd minute and that gave Casablanca a chance to break the deadlock. Rahimi scored as the Tanzanian star was yellow-carded for the handball and in the 66th minute, Namungo were reduced to 10 men as Samte received his second yellow card.

Head coach Hemed Morocco made a 71st-minute change when he brought on Hamisi Manyanya in place of Kwizera Hashimu. In the 76th minute, Casablanca saw a change as Zakaria Habti left the pitch for Mahmoud Benhalib to be introduced.

Rahimi was cautioned with a yellow card in the 77th minute for a foul before Morocco made another change in the 86th minute when Iddi Mwakasungule gave way for Bahati Kipagwile. The final change, in the additional minutes, saw Sixtus Sabilo leave and his place filled by Adam Salamba.

Despite the disparity in experience and class, Namungo were able to fight and avoid a big loss in Morocco. The 6-0 defeat Yanga suffered at the hands of Casablanca in 1998 remains the biggest loss a Tanzanian side has conceded in a continental tie at the group stage. 

Morocco’s side reached the this stage of the Confederation Cup without losing a single away game and they are now set to focus on the upcoming home game that will be equally decisive.

Casablanca, who have won three Champions League titles and one Confederation Cup trophy, are seen as the favourites to eventually book top spot in Group D.

The Tanzanian side is debuting in the tournament and shockingly reached the group stage despite odds initially placed against them. On their way to Grpoup D, Namungo defeated Al Rabita, Al-Hilal Obeid, and Primeiro de Agosto; a side they faced twice in Tanzania after the coronavirus affected their first leg schedule that was planned to take place in Angola.

In the other group game, Zambia’s Nkana were defeated 3-0 by Pyramids FC of Egypt. Consequently, Pyramids have gone top of the table followed by Raja Casablanca while Namungo and Nkana are third and fourth respectively.