the suspense remains after the victory of Raja


Ph.Seddik

Raja Casablanca killed two birds with one stone. He took the best of his eternal rival, the WAC (2-0) on the occasion of the 25th day and he got closer to a point of the Reds. Well in legs and tactically disciplined, Raja logically emerged victorious from this 132nd bidaoui derby. Mohsine Moutouali, twice on penalties (45th and 86th), offered victory to the Greens. The latter saw red after his gesture celebrating his second goal, deemed obscene by referee Redouane Jiyed. Following this success, each player was entitled to a bonus of 10 million centimes, promised by the new president, Aziz El Badraoui.

Twenty days after their coronation in the CAF Champions League, Wydad de Casablanca fell from their pedestal on Thursday, losing (2-0) to their lifelong rivals, Raja, in the capital derby economic, counting for the 25th day of the D1. This 132nd derby, played in front of empty stands due to the closed session imposed by the FRMF Disciplinary and Fair Play Committee, started with a domination by the Greens, who monopolized the ball from the first minutes, without managing to shape. In the 16th minute, on an overflow from Abeljalil Jbira, the Greens came close to an opener.

Opposite, WAC’s attacks came up against a solid defense from Raja, led by the central hinge, Marouane Hadhoudi. Raja continued to be dangerous in the first period, but failed to take advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves, in particular that of Hamid Aheddad, whose ball was repelled by Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti (37th). The same player opened the scoring for the Greens, after causing a penalty, which was converted by Mohsine Moutouali (45 + 7). After going through the locker room, Walid Regragui’s men returned to the pitch with a more determined spirit.

However, realism was severely lacking in this team, which in no way resembled the one that had won the Champions League, on the same lawn against Ahly of Egypt, a few weeks earlier.
In any case, on the pitch, it was Anas Zniti’s teammates who continued to put the pressure on to double the lead. An offensive effort rewarded shortly before the end of regulation time by a new penalty provoked, this time, by Mohamed Zrida and converted once again by Mohsine Moutouali (86th). A very important victory for the Greens, which allows the team to relaunch in the race for the title and inaugurates in style the arrival of the new president, Aziz El Badraoui, elected at the head of the club a few hours earlier.

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Declarations

Rachid Taoussi, coach of Raja
“Raja was superior in all areas of play”

“It’s a deserved victory for us, our team was superior in every way, tactically and result-wise. We created a lot of scoring chances. I also congratulate my players, because they were very disciplined tactically. But it’s still a game we won. Now we have to focus on others. At the tactical level, I surprised my little brother, Walid Regragui, by modulating my tactical scheme. To achieve this, I studied the strengths and weaknesses of this WAC team to block the strong elements, including the Jebrane, Amloud, Attiat Allah and Hassouni. Without forgetting that our defensive animation was also very good.

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Walid Regragui, WAC coach
“We accept defeat like champions and we will come back stronger”

“We were not 100% present during this derby. We were afraid of being mentally feverish after the Champions League final. Physically, we couldn’t recover in the first half. Even if we are not happy with the result, because it is the derby, we did not want to lose this match. The first penalty was tough for us. In the second half, we did our best to get back into the game with 6 attackers, but the second penalty arrived. It was above all our attitude today that really displeased me, because it is not the attitude of an African champion team. But it doesn’t matter, there are still five games left and as I often say, the title will be played until the last moment of the season. We will accept defeat like champions, and we will come back stronger.”

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