Raja Club Athletic became the first team to book a quarter final slot in the Total CAF Confederation Cup after a 3-0 victory away to last year’s losing finalists Pyramids in Egypt took them to 12 points and top of Group D on Sunday.
Congolese duo of Ben Malango and Fabrice Ngoma handed the Green Eagles a 2-0 half-time lead before on-form Soufiane Rahimi scored the third, picking their fourth successive win of the group phase.
With two rounds of matches, no team can catch up with them with Pyramids and Nkana both on six points.
The visitors broke the deadlock on the quarter hour mark when Ngoma rose highest inside the box to thump in a header from a Rahimi corner. Pyramids looked to hit an immediate response but Mohamed Farouk saw his shot from a tight angle saved by the keeper.
Ramadan Sobhi also came close for the Egyptian side in the 26th minute with a low shot from distance that kissed the outside of the post.
The home side had the lion’s share of possession, seeing 71pc of the ball as per the halftime statistics but had little to show for it. They were stunned further four minutes to time when Malango slid in to score the second after Marouane Hadhoudi nodded down Rahimi’s freekick for the Congolese to score.
In the second half, Pyramids looked to make their possession count for goals and had a chance on the hour mark when skipper Abdalla Mohamed took a stride at goal but his shot was well saved by Raja keeper Anas Zniti.
Minutes later, Mohamed swung in an inviting cross into the box, but John Antwi’s connection couldn’t hit the target from close range.
They were made to pay for failing to utilize their chances when Rahimi turned Ahmed Fathy inside out after running to an Omar Arjoune ball planted behind the defense before slamming into the net.
Elsewhere in Algeria, hosts ES Setif thrashed Enyimba 3-0 to revive their quarter final hopes. The victory took them to four points, but remained bottom of Group A though they are on level terms with Al Ahly Benghazi.
Nigeria’s Enyimba remained second with six points, two behind leaders Orlando Pirates who won 3-0 earlier in the day against Benghazi.
Amir Karaoui gave Setif the lead after 31 minutes before Amoura Mohamed doubled their tally at the stroke of halftime. Skipper Akram Djahnit sealed the victory in the 65th minute from the penalty spot. He could have completed a brace 10 minutes from time, but he had a penalty saved.
At the Stade du 1er Novembre in Tizi Ouzou, hosts JS Kabilye played to a goalless draw with defending champions RS Berkane of Morocco. The draw sees Kabilye remain second in the standings with six points while the holders are a point below them at third.