Raja score late to beat Auckland

Club World Cup trophy
Club World Cup trophy

Raja Casablanca scored late into stoppage time to beat Auckland City 2-1 in the opening match of the annual Club World Cup in Morocco on Wednesday.

Abdelilah Hafidi tapped home the winner in the second minute of added time to ensure the host club a winning start at the Agadir Stadium.

Raja took a 1-0 lead in the 39th through Mouhssine Iajour after he beat goalkeeper Tamati Williams with a shot into the far corner.

The New Zealand club rallied through Fijian Krishna, who found himself alone to beat keeper Khalid Askri after Mohamed Oulhaj and Ismail Benlamalem ran into each other.

Raja set up a quarter-final match Sunday with Mexican club Monterrey after Williams saved Oulhaj's header, only for it to fall to the foot of Hafidi.

Formerly known as the Intercontinental Cup, the Club World Cup is being played in Africa for the first time.

European champions Bayern Munich and South America's Copa Libertadores winners, Atletico Mineiro, enter from the semi-finals, starting on Tuesday next week.

The quarter-finals, which somewhat confusingly feature only four teams, will be played in a double-header in Agadir on Saturday.

Concacaf champions Monterrey, back for a third successive appearance and hoping to become the first Mexican team to reach the final, will face either Raja Casablanca or Auckland for a place against Atletico Mineiro in Wednesday's semi-final.

Saturday's other quarter-final pits Guangzhou against African champions Al Ahly from Egypt, with the winners to play Bayern on Tuesday.

Al Ahly won the African Champions League in November despite not playing any domestic football after the Egyptian championship was cancelled earlier this year.

Aboutrika had planned to retire after the final against Orlando Pirates but was persuaded to play in Morocco and is included in their squad.

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