CAF

Raja end 15-year wait for CAF title

Moroccan club Raja Casablanca ended a 15-year wait for an African trophy by winning the CAF Confederation Cup in the Democratic Republic of Congo Sunday despite a 3-1 second-leg loss to V Club.Raja, who won the last edition of the CAF Cup in 2003, beat V Club 3-0 in the first leg in Casablanca last Sunday and won the two-leg title decider 4-3 on aggregate.It was the sixth CAF title for the Moroccans, who have also won the Champions League three times and the Super Cup once.

Abdelilah Hafidi put Raja ahead after 21 minutes on a synthetic pitch saturated by pre-match rain at the 80,000-seat Stade des Martyrs in Kinshasa.

The goal left V Club, whose only CAF title came 45 years ago, needing to score five to win the second-tier African club competition.Jean-Marc Makusu, who started after recovering from a first-leg injury, levelled on the night by slamming a free-kick high into the net four minutes into first-half stoppage time.

Raja appeared to be cruising toward overall victory until the Congolese scored twice within three minutes midway through the second half. Substitute Mukoko Batezadio fired into the net after a goalmouth scramble on 71 minutes and Fabrice Ngoma converted a cross soon after to raise hopes of a sensational comeback.But Raja stood firm and there were no further clearcut scoring chances for the Congolese, leaving them with an unwanted record of losing three of four CAF finals they reached.

source| AFP

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