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Raja Casablanca Shock Esperance to Win CAF Super Cup

Raja Casablanca of Morocco have won the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Super Cup after beating Esperance de Tunis of Tunisia 2-1.

Raja Casablanca of Morocco have won the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Super Cup after beating Esperance de Tunis of Tunisia 2-1.

Ablelihah Hafidi opened the scoring in the 22nd minute for the champions, before Esperance’s Youcef Belaili equalized in the 57th minute to give the Tunisian side brief hope.

Badr Banoun scored the winner in the 64th minute before the Moroccans held on to the title.

The match took place at the Thani bin Jassim Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar on Friday.

Super Cup is a competition between the winners of the African Champions League and the second-tier Confederation Cup.

Esperance could have taken a lead inside the opening five minutes but they were denied by the bar twice before Anas Zinti stopped the attack.

Raja had an early chance in the tenth minute, but Soufiane Rahimi did not connect properly with a right-footed shot from the right side of the box, and his effort was saved by Rami Jeridi.

In the 19th minute, Esperance initiated an enterprising move which thrilled the fans when Anice Badri played a one-two with Saad Bguir, but his shot went wide and high.

Four minutes later Raja took the lead thanks to an impressive strike by Abdelilah Hafidi.

The Green Eagles continued attacking and a minute before half-time Abderrahim Achchakir had a shot saved by Anas Zniti’s feet when it had looked like he was beaten.

Esperance came out a different side in the second half and they managed to pull themselves level after 57 minutes, with Youcef Belaili firing Past Zniti.

However, Raja restored their lead in spectacular fashion through captain Badr Benoun, who sent a delightful flick past Esperance goalkeeper Rami Jrdi in the 65th minute.

The Blood and Gold were inches away from restoring parity when Sameh Derbali’s left-foot effort smacked onto the post later on.

Jaridi then made an incredible save from point-blank following Fabrice Gael Ngah powerful shot in the 79th minute.

Derbali missed another good chance to get on the scoreboard, but the dismal finishing continued as he shot over the top.

The Tunisians were forced to make a change with 10 minutes remaining after Hafidi was forced off, but the midfielder’s departure had no real bearing on the result as Raja held on for the win.

Raja now joins Nigerian outfit Enyimba and Étoile du Sahel as the sides to have won the trophy twice.

The teams

Esperance Tunis: Rami Jeridi (GK), Sameh Derbali, Chamseddine Dhaouadi, Mohamed Ali Yacoubi, Ayman Ben Mohamed, Fousseyni Coulibaly, Franck Kom, Saad Bguir, Anice Badri, Hamdou Elhouni, Taha Yassine Khenissi

Raja Club Athletic: Anas Zniti (GK), Omar Boutayeb, Badr Banoun, Sanad Al-Warfali, Fabrice Gael Ngah, Zakaria El Wardi, Abderrahim Achchakir, Abdelilah Hafidi, Zakaria Hadraf, Mahmoud Benhabib, Soufiane Rahimi

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