African Confederation Cup: Holders Raja Casablanca lose at home

African Confederation Cup trophy
African Confederation Cup trophy

Holders Raja Casablanca and Egyptian giants Zamalek suffered huge setbacks on Sunday in the latest round of group matches in this season's African Confederation Cup.

Raja fell to a 4-2 home defeat to Renaissance Berkane in an all-Moroccan clash while Zamalek snatched a last-gasp 1-1 draw with Angolan visitors Petro Atletico.

On a bad day for most of the top seeds, Zambian team Zesco United had to come from behind at home to draw 1-1 with 10-man Al Hilal from Sudan.

Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia are the only top seeds to have secured maximum points from their three group matches so far, as they recovered from conceding an early goal to win 2-1 at home to Nigerians Enugu Rangers.

Group winners and runners-up qualify for the quarter-finals.

Group A

Raja Casablanca have been off form, despite the sacking of Spanish coach Juan Carlos Garrido and the recruitment of Frenchman Patrice Carteron.

The Cup holders had managed just one win in five African competition matches before facing Renaissance Berkane in their Group A contest.

Togolese Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba starred for Berkane with a brace, scoring early in the second half to establish a two-goal lead and firing the fourth six minutes from time.

Raja lie third, five points adrift of Renaissance, and with two away fixtures among their remaining three, they face a battle to secure a top-two finish and a place in the quarter-finals.

Hassania Agadir, the third Moroccan challengers, rose from last to second in the same group via a 2-1 home win over AS Otoho Oyo from Congo Brazzaville.

Group B

Enugu Rangers, who faced Etoile du Sahel in Tunisia, started promisingly with Bright Silas putting the visitors ahead.

However, persistent pressure from the hosts led to Iheb Msakni equalising before half-time and Saddam Ben Aziza struck the 64th-minute winner for the North Africans.

In the same group, three-time Confederation Cup winners CS Sfaxien of Tunisia were surprisingly held 0-0 at home by Salitas, an academy club from Burkina Faso.

Sfaxien lead on five points - one ahead of Etoile and Enugu with Salitas bottom on two points.

Group C

Sudan's Al Hilal had Democratic Republic of Congo-born Idris Mbombo sent off in first-half stoppage-time against Zesco United in Ndola, but later took the lead through Nasreldin Abdalla.

Lazarous Kambole salvaged a point for Zesco, the first team to drop points at home in Group C after fellow Zambians Nkana overcame Ghanaian visitors Asante Kotoko 3-1 in Kitwe.

Leaders Nkana had to play the last 17 minutes with 10 men after Richard Ocran was dismissed following a second booking.

Group D

Youssef 'Obama' Ibrahim netted in the fourth minute of stoppage time to spare five-time African champions Zamalek a shock home defeat by Petro Atletico in Alexandria.

Brazilian Tiago Azulao had put the Luanda club ahead on the hour against the Egyptian giants.

Zamalek are bottom of Group D with two points, four less than leaders Gor Mahia of Kenya, and their three forthcoming fixtures include visits to Angola and Algeria.

Gor Mahia beat NA Hussein Dey of Algeria 2-0 in Nairobi as Francis Kahata and Jacques Tuyisenge scored and the visitors were reduced to 10 men when Chamseddine Harrag was sent off.

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