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CAF Champions League

North African Derby Set To Sizzle In Cairo

North African duo Al Ahly and Raja Casablanca will meet for the first leg of their CAF Champions League quarterfinal on Saturday afternoon. Kick-off at the Al Ahly WE Al Salam Stadium in Cairo is set for 20h00 GMT.

Al Ahly earned their spot in the final eight by finishing second behind South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns in Group A, while Raja Casablanca topped the three-team Group B ahead of Algerian side ES Setif.

The defending champions will now be aiming to make an unprecedented step into the semi-finals of Africa’s premier cup competition, but lying in their way is the tough Moroccan side.

Al Ahly will be coming into the match on the back of a domestic league defeat at the hands of Al Masr and the Red Devils coach Pitso Mosimane will want to go back into winning ways.

“The next match is an opportunity for players to regain confidence and prove themselves. It’s good that we will play in the Cairo International Stadium, that way we can play the Al Ahly style,” Mosimane said.

Raja Casablanca, meanwhile, are looking to win their fourth CAF Champions League title,having last won the trophy back in 1999.

The Moroccan giants kept up their momentum on the African continent by finishing atop Group B, winning five of their six matches.

Rachid Taoussi, the Raja Casablanca coach, has expressed confidence in his team and said they are willing to put up a fight against Al Ahly.

“We have a good, strong group of players not to mention the experience I have in Africa,” Taoussi told Moroccan website El Botola as per KingFut.

“We are going through a really good phase at the moment. We will do our best to advance to the next round and we will do our best to achieve our goals and make the Raja fans proud.”

This will be the fourth time the two sides meet in the recent past, and the third in the Champions League. Their last meeting in the competition was in 2005, Al Ahly winning the first leg 1-0 at home before playing to a 1-1 draw in the return leg away.

Congolese referee Jean Jacques Ndala Ngambo  will be in charge of the match between Al Ahly and Raja Casablanca on Saturday.



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