19 November 2012

Egypt/Tunisia: Esperance Lose Champions League Title

Tunis — Taraji lost their title, Raja Casablanca snatched another Throne Cup and Mauritania postponed matches.

Al Ahly beat Esperance Saturday (November 17th) in Tunis to win their seventh CAF Champions League title 3-2 on aggregate.

The defending champions had an enthusiastic home crowd but only managed to net one goal, thanks to striker Yannick Ndjeng. Mohammed "Gedo" Nagy from Al Ahly scored in the 42nd minute the tying goal. Walid Soliman delivered the win for the Egyptians in the 62nd minute.

This is Al Ahly's seventh title and their first one in four years. The Egyptian team scored their third win against Esperance.

They took the initiative and controlled the first half, while the Tunisians lacked concentration and failed to pose any real danger to their guests. A fierce fight for the midfield started in the 15th minute.

As time passed, Al Ahly had more ball possession and controlled the field, mainly depending on the right flank, which was Esperance's weak point in this match due to the absence of Sameh Derbali and Ghanaian Harrison Afful.

In the second half, the Egyptians continued their attacks depending on pressure and short passes.

The match ended with Al Ahly's win, and the cup made its way to Cairo.

"It's an honour for us to play the continental final and to win the title in Tunisia at the expense of Esperance. My hope was realised here," Al Ahly coach Houssem Badri said after the match.

For his part, Esperance coach Nabil Maaloul said, "Today wasn't Esperance's day. We returned to the game late, and after that, Al Ahly took the lead from a counterattack."

"Al-Ahli deserved the win because they were the better side," he added. "We had about three scoring opportunities throughout a home match before our own fans. This is not acceptable."

Raja Casablanca win Throne Cup

Meanwhile in Morocco, Moghreb Fes climbed to second place in the Botola with 16 points after beating guests Raja de Béni Mellal (RBM) 1-0 in round 8.

CODM Meknes roughed up their hosts RSB Berkane 4-3. Yassine Bayoud scored for the guests in the 22nd, 65th and 84th minutes, while his teammate Redouane Jaouhari netted the winner at the end of the match. Mustapha Konde scored two goals for the hosts in the 11th and 58th minutes, and Abdelmoula Ben Rabeh scored the 3rd goal in the 41st minute from the spot.

In another match, KAC Kénitra beat their guests Olympique Khouribga 1-0. Bila Bayate scored the lone goal in the 69th minute.

Meanwhile, Raja Casablanca won the Throne Cup for the 7th time in their history. This time it was against FAR Rabat in a strong match played November 18th before 60,000 fans at Moulay Abdullah Sports Complex in Rabat.

The match regulation time and two extra times ended in a goalless draw. Penalty shoot-outs decided the result of the match in favour of Raja 5-4 after the capital team's star Youssef Kaddioui failed to score from the 5th kick.

The match brought together the two strongest teams on the national level, Raja coach M'hamed Fakhir said after the match. He hoped that the result would have a positive impact on the Greens in the national championship.

"FAR Rabat imposed their style and controlled the match. However, hastiness and lack of concentration, as well as strong defence by Raja players are all factors that prevented us from realising our goal," FAR Rabat coach Rachid Taoussi said.

Imraguens top Mauritanian championship

The 4th day of the Mauritanian league championship was disrupted by the postponement of a number of matches, with the Mourabitounes away in Conakry for a friendly on November 15th.

In the first match played on Friday in Nouadhibou's Municipal Stadium, Imraguens beat ASC Armee 3-2. They managed to seize victory in the last few minutes, thanks to their young striker Alioune Sarr. With the win, they temporarily move to the top of the table, with 9 points.

"These good results are a further reason why we should have a sponsor to see us through the season. I congratulate the players for their commitment and spirit of self-sacrifice," said club general manager Mohamed Ould Ely.

Also on Friday, ASC Police and Assaba ended their match in Nouakchott in a goalless draw. Assaba's one point helped them take 3rd place in the table with six points, whilst ASC Police continue to stagnate in the middle of the table with four points.

"We've got a point from an away match, and that's good for team spirit. Now we'll need to keep our wits about us, because they'll be ready for us every time," Assaba goalkeeper Mamadou Diop said after the match.

In another match at the Ramdane stadium in Rosso, Ligwareb and ASC Garde drew 1-1, while ASC Tidjikdja crushed visitors CF Cansado 2-1.

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