Moroccan side Raja Casablanca was crowned CAF Confederation Cup champions after defeating JS Kabylie of Algeria 2-1 in Saturday’s final at the Stade de L’Amitie, General Mathieu Kerekou in Cotonou, Benin.
Raja, favourites heading into the match, raced out of the blocks into a two-goal lead with strikes from man of the match Soufiane Rahimi and Ben Malango in the fifth and 14th minutes respectively.
JS Kabylie pulled one back through Mohamed Zakaria Boulahia shortly after the restart to make it 2-1.
Though Raja had Omar Arjoune dismissed for a high boot in the 62nd minute, their defence, which had just conceded twice before the final, managed to keep the score as it was and win the tie.
This was the Moroccan side’s second triumph in the competition after similar success in 2018. They also became the first team from Morocco to win the competition twice with FUS Rabat, FAR Rabat, MAS Fez and RS Berkane all winning once.
The title sees Raja end their continental campaign on a high after they found themselves relegated to the competition after being eliminated from the Champions League by Senegal’s Teungueth during the qualifiers.
There was also joy for Raja’s Congolese striker Malango who finished as the tournament’s top scorer with six goals.
Raja will now face the winner of the CAF Champions League in the CAF Super Cup. Record nine-time winners and defending champions Al Ahly will play South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs in the final on July 17.