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Africa roundup: Raja Casablanca move one win away from Moroccan title

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Pin Casablanca are one win away. AFP
Casablanca are one win away. AFP

Africa roundup: Raja Casablanca move one win away from Moroccan title

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 733

Three-time African champions Raja Casablanca are one victory away from clinching the Moroccan league title for the first time since 2013.

A midweek win at Olympique Khouribga lifted Raja to 57 points with one round remaining, followed by arch rivals Wydad Casablanca (56) and Renaissance Berkane (54).

Raja have home advantage over final opponents, fifth-place FAR Rabat, this Sunday while Wydad and Berkane play away.

Here, AFP Sport rounds up national team, league and coach news from around the continent.

Morocco

Abdelilah Hafidi and Ayoub Nanah scored in the first half as Raja triumphed 2-1 and condemned Khouribga to second division football next season.

Ismail el Haddad scored in the final minute of regular time to give record 20-time champions Wydad a two-goal lead over Rapide Ouem Zem and they finished 2-1 winners.

Berkane kept their slim hopes alive by thrashing Moghreb Tetouan 4-1 with three goals coming in 12 minutes during the second half after Hamdi Laachir gave them an early lead.

Cape Verde

Cape Verde scored all three goals as they won 2-1 in Andorra with Saudi Arabia-based Ryan Mendes netting either side of a Carlos Ponck own-goal. The international friendly was the first of two for the west-African island nation ahead of home and away Cup of Nations qualifiers against Rwanda next month.

On Sunday, a Cape Verde squad composed of players from clubs in Europe, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco face Guinea in the southern Portuguese resort city of Faro.

Ivory Coast

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations hosts have unveiled a 60,000-seat stadium in the northern outskirts of the Ivory Coast commercial capital, Abidjan

"I'm proud and happy at the Chinese-Ivorian co-operation that produced this architectural gem," said President Alassane Ouattara at an inauguration ceremony.

China assisted in the four-year construction of the Olympic Stadium, which will stage the opening match and final of the first Cup of Nations staged by the Ivory Coast since 1984.

South African coach Pitso Mosimane maintained his perfect record since taking charge of African and Egyptian giants Al Ahly when they walloped ENPPI 3-0 in the league. A couple of early goals from Marwan Mohsen set up the Cairo Red Devils for maximum points and Nigerian Junior Ajayi completed the rout by scoring on 80 minutes. Mosimane replaced Rene Weiler last week after contract renewal talks with the Swiss broke down, and he guided Ahly to victory over Al Mokawloon Al Arab in his debut match.

South Africa

Belgian Patrick Aussems has been named coach of Black Leopards, a South African club that narrowly avoided relegation last season and has a reputation for regularly firing handlers.

"I hope to turn Leopards into a top-half team if I am allowed to complete my three-season contract," said the 2.09-metre (six feet, 10.5 inches) former defender. Among his previous coaching positions were being in charge of AC Leopards of Congo Brazzaville and Simba of Tanzania.

Tariqe Fosu from English second-tier club Brentford has received a late call-up from Ghana for Cup of Nations warm-up matches against Mali and Qatar in Turkish city Antalya.

Capped by England at an age-limit level, the 24-year-old forward is also eligible to play for the Black Stars because his parents are Ghanaian. He takes the place of Egypt-based John Antwi, who could not travel to southern Europe because of a visa problem.

Wolves winger Adama Traore debuted for Spain off the bench in a goalless friendly against Portugal Wednesday, effectively dashing Malian hopes that he would represent them. The pacy attacker was born in Barcelona to Malian parents, making him eligible to play for either country.

Although Traore obviously favours Spain, he must feature in a competitive match to officially end Malian dreams of having him in their line-up.

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