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CAF Confederations Cup: Enyimba work hard after loss to Raja

CAF Confederations Cup: Enyimba work hard after loss to Raja

Enyimba’s quest to land their first ever CAF Confederations Cup title suffered a major setback on Wednesday following a 1-0 loss to Raja Casablanca of Morocco in the first leg semifinal clash in Aba.

The two-time African champions were hoping to improve on their impressive home form after their return to the Aba Township Stadium, where they have won their last three matches in the tournament but they were second best to their North African opponents for most part of the tie.

Raja made their intention known from the kick off as they dominated possession and only some frantic defending from the home side prevented them from taking an early lead.

Buoyed by their supporters, the Peoples’ Elephants gradually settled into the game but a resolute play of Raja restricted the hosts to a couple of long-range efforts as the first half ended without a breakthrough for either sides.

Raja continued from where they left off and were duly rewarded as Abdelilah Hafidi, a Moroccan international, got the vital away goal in the 48th minute as his shot went through the legs of Theophilus Afelokhai to put them in firm control of the match.

Enyimba wouldn’t lie low knowing they had to respond to have a chance ahead of the second leg. They were almost rewarded for their persistence when they were awarded a penalty in the 66th minute but the opportunity was wasted by Stanley Dingba who hit his spot kick across the bar.

Raja’s home record is one of the best in the tournament and it means Enyimba must produce what would go down as one of their best performances in recent years if they are to go through to the final.
The second leg comes up on October 24 at the Stade Mohamed V Stadium.

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