Stoppage Time – International Football Blog

Morocco: Raja Casablanca take charge with one game to go

Posted in African Football by peterbein on May 9, 2010
Moroccan League logo

The Botola, Morocco's national league, is going down to the wire

The title race in Morocco is going down to the wire with Raja Casablanca securing first in the table with a 3-2 win over OC Safi yesterday whilst their two chief rivals for the championship, Wydad Casablanca and DH El Jadida, played out a goalless stalemate meaning that they now trail in the wake of Raja with just one matchday left. Raja, who are the defending champions, are confident that they can become only the third team in Morocco to claim a tenth national championship. Only Wydad Casablanca and FAR Rabat have achieved this feat so far and it is the latter of those two teams that stand in the way between Raja Casablanca and the title on the final day.

Raja Casablanca were goalless at half-time in their match against OC Safi and had already had plenty of opportunities to break the deadlock in the game before a penalty decision led to their first goal of the afternoon being scored by Mouhssine Moutouali. Less than two minutes later Raja had doubled their lead after Senegalese player Mamadou Baila scored from a few yards out after the ball had come back off a post. On the hour mark OC Safi halved the deficit and brought the visitors back into the game but Raja restored the two goal cushion just five minutes when Yassine Salhi scored from inside the box after being put through by Omar Nadji. OC Safi got another goal back with eleven minutes to go to set up a nervous finish for the title challengers but Raja managed to hold out.

Their joy was further enhanced when they learnt of the result involving their two title rivals. On the back of their goalless draw Wydad Casablanca, who were top of the table before the day’s fixtures, swapped places with their local rivals whilst DH El Jadida remain in third place three points behind Raja and really need results to go their way if they are to have any chance of taking the Botola crown for the very first time. On Matchday 30 Raja Casablanca must travel to the capital to take on FAR Rabat whilst Wydad have a home game against another capital side FUS Rabat and DH El Jadida travel to Ittihad Khemisset.

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