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CAF Confederation Cup

Caf Confederation Cup review: RSB Berkane beat defending champions Raja, Zamalek woes continue

21:58 GMT 24/02/2019
Gor Mahia v Zamalek.
Zamalek winless run continued following a home draw with Petro Atletico, while Raja Casablanca went down at home to RSB Berkane

Youssef Obama scored deep into injury time to save Zamalek from humiliation at home and secure a 1-1 draw for the Egyptian giants against Angolan visitors Petro Atletico in a Group D match.

Zamalek appeared on course for a defeat at the Borg El Arab Stadium after Brazilian forward Tiago Azulao had fired Petro Atletico in front on the hour mark.

With the Egyptians starring disgrace, Obama struck four minutes in stoppage time, connecting an assist from Abdallah Gomaa.

Although they managed to scrap a point, the result was far from convincing for Zamalek, who remain stranded at the bottom of Group D without a win and with just two points after three games.

And with club president Mortada Mansour being critical of coach Christian Gross in recent weeks, the Swiss gaffer’s job could be on the line.

Petro Atletico might be cursing themselves for failing to collect maximum points in a match they seemed almost certain to win, but they lost concentration.

Azulao had scored for the Angolans after being set up by substitute and fellow Brazilian Toni, who made an immediate impact just three minutes after coming on for Job.

After blowing up a victory opportunity, Petro Atletico remained on third spot in this group, with the same number of points (4) as second-placed NA Hussein Dey, who however enjoy a head-to-head advantage.

Elsewhere, Raja Casablanca’s hopes of defending the Caf Confederation Cup title suffered yet another setback following a 4-2 home defeat to fellow Moroccans RSB Berkane in a Group A tie.

Togolese forward Kodjo Fo Doh Laba struck a brace and provided an assist for Mohammed Farehane, while 20-year-old Raja defender Imran Fiddi scored an own goal to give Berkane the crucial victory.

With the hosts’ chief striker Mouhssine Iajour also scoring twice, it was not enough to salvage at least a point for Raja Casablanca, who are dropped to the basement of the group as they remain winless with just two points after three games.

Raja’s afternoon was spoiled as early as 10 minutes into the game when Fiddi beat his own goalkeeper Anas Zniti to hand Berkane the opening goal and a 1-0 halftime lead.

Berkane came back from the break and doubled their lead seven minutes after the restart through Laba who turned in an assist by defender Mohammed Aziz.

Iajour then attempted a comeback for Raja with a goal on the hour mark, but Farehane restored the visitors’ two-goal lead off a feed by Laba four minutes later.

Iajour struck again on 78 minutes to restore comeback hopes for the defending champions, but Laba grabbed Berkane’s fourth goal four minutes from time.

It was yet another failure to lead Raja to a maiden win in this campaign by French coach Patrice Carteron, while Berkane maintained their lead of the group where they are three points clear at the top.

Elsewhere in Ndola, 10-man Sudanese giants, Al Hilal forced a 1-1 draw with hosts Zesco United in a Group C match.

Chief marksman Lazarus Kambole salvaged a point for Zesco with a 72nd-minute equaliser after midfielder Nasreldin Abdalla had put Al Hilal ahead on 66 minutes.

Zesco could not take advantage of Al Hilal’s numerical disadvantage as the visitors played the entire second half with a man short after Congolese forward Idris Mbombo was sent off in stoppage time of the first half.

But Al Hilal appeared resilient, breaking the deadlock through Abdalla who got at the end of an assist from right-back Samawal Merghani Elyas.

The Sudanese appeared to be headed for an important away victory until Kambole connected after being set up by Jesse Were for to rescue Zesco’s day.

The result saw Zesco slid down from the top to position three while Al Hilal remained on second spot.

Elsewhere in Group B, 10-man Burkinabe side Salitas scrambled a point away from home following a goalless draw with CS Sfaxien at the Stade Taieb Mhiri.

Salitas defied the handicap of playing the last 17 minutes with 10 men after defender Elisee Demankel was red-carded and managed to force a draw in Sfax. 

Although they failed to win in this third match of the group, Salitas impressively claimed a point away, while Sfaxien remain unbeaten.