Caf Confederation Cup review: Raja Casablanca held by Hassania Agadir, Zesco overpower Nkana in Copperbelt Derby

Raja Casablanca
Backpage pix
The Caf Confederation League group stage got underway on Sunday as Raja Casablanca were held 1-1 by Hassania Agadir, while Zesco United saw off Nkana

Defending champions Raja Casablanca kicked off their Confederation Cup Group A campaign with a 1-1 draw with fellow Moroccans Hassania Agadir.

It was an afternoon that saw Frenchman Patrice Carteron make his debut as Raja coach, and he witnessed his side start their group stage campaign by dropping two points.

Veteran forward Mouhssine Lajour thrust Raja ahead nine minutes after the half-time break, before Mehdi Oubilla drew level for Hassania Agadir in the 63rd minute.

Playing away in Agadir, Raja looked like they were on track to snatch victory on the road, but Oubilla denied them three points with an equaliser after Lajour had connected an assist from Abdelilah Hafidi.

Group A remains tied with all teams on one point each after AS Otoho and another Moroccan outfit RSB Berkane drew 1-1 in another match in Owando, Congo Brazzaville.

It took a late equaliser from Mohammed Aziz to save Berkane’s day after Cabwey Kivutuka had put hosts Otoho ahead on the brink of half-time.

Otoho could be thanking Malian referee Mahamadou Kéïta for disallowing Bakr El Helali’s goal for Berkane in the first half of added time soon after Kivutuka had scored.

This was after Richy Ondongo had set up Kivutuka to beat the half-time whistle with a well-struck goal and Otoho appeared to be on course for victory against the North Africans.

But Aziz struck with a minute before full-time for the stalemate.

In Group C, Zesco United beat their Zambian counterparts Nkana FC 2-0 at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola.

Evergreen striker Lazarus Kambole struck in the first half stoppage time to add on to John Ching’andu’s 28th-minute opener.

The second half saw no goals in this Copperbelt Derby that had Zesco assume an early lead in Group C, as Al Hilal edged Asante Kotoko 1-0 at home in another match.

Ching’andu finished off a pass from Kenyan midfielder Anthony Akumu to put Zesco ahead, before Kambole beat Nkana goalkeeper Kelvin Malunga to seal victory for Zesco.

In the last domestic affair of the day, CS Sfaxien beat Etoile du Sahel away at the Stade Olympique de Sousse in a Group B tie.

Midfielder Aymen Harzi scored as early as the ninth minute to separate the two Tunisian sides after coming at the end of a Firas Chaouat assist.

Etoile could feel hard done by Senegalese referee Issa Sy who disallowed Yassine Chikhaoui’s 53rd-minute goal which they thought could have earned them at least a point.

With the win, Sfaxien are in second place in the group after Enugu Rangers beat Burkinabe side Salitas 2-0 in another match in this pool.

Elsewhere, Algerian side NA Hussein Dey dismissed visitors Petro Atletico 2-1 in A Group D match.

Center-back Mohamed Amine Tougai opened the scoring for Hussein Dey 19 minutes into the match before his fellow defender Walid Allati doubled the hosts’ advantage nine minutes after halftime.

Article continues below

Angolan giants Petro Atletico attempted to claw their way back into the game with in-form forward Felix Va finding target 14 minutes before fulltime.

But Hussein Dey managed to hold on and defended their narrow lead as the visitors kept on searching for an equaliser.

The Algerians are now on second place in Group D which is led by Kenyan giants Gor Mahia, while Petro Atletico are on third spot as Egyptian giants Zamalek anchor the standings.