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CAF Champions League

McCarthy admits Raja Casablanca are class above AmaZulu as PSL side bows out of Caf Champions League

13:27 GMT+3 19/03/2022
Benni McCarthy AmaZulu
The former Bafana striker admits his side was overpowered by a well-drilled side in their third defeat of the inter-club competition

AmaZulu head coach Benni McCarthy has conceded Raja Casablanca deserved to win their Caf Champions League Group B fixture on Friday.

Usuthu’s run in the competition came to an end after they lost 2-0 against the Moroccan giants in the fifth fixture at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

A goal in each half courtesy of Hamid Ahadad in the sixth minute and Ilias Haddad in the 76th minute coupled with ES Setif’s 3-2 win against Horoya bundled out McCarthy’s charges from the inter-club competition.

The former Bafana Bafana striker has now admitted that Raja were a class above his side and that they were also ruthless in front of goal.

What did McCarthy say?

“Raja [Casablanca] were just a class above us today [Friday],” McCarthy told the media after the game. “We played on the back foot for large parts of the game and they controlled a number of elements in the 90 minutes.

“My boys gave it their all in terms of effort and I could never fault them for that but Raja showed why they've won this trophy numerous times, they are better structured very well and are ruthless in front of goal.”

McCarthy continued: “Today we couldn’t break them [Raja defence] down, and when you can’t do that then you allow the opposition to get in behind you to score goals.

“Then the result at the end of the game will be in favour of the opposition and that is what it was today. It was a long day. Tough luck to us.”

In a game they needed to win and keep alive their hopes of reaching the quarter-final stage, AmaZulu found themselves trailing with only six minutes played when Ahadad latched onto a long ball to chip the ball past the advancing Usuthu goalkeeper Veli Mothwa.

Though they dominated most parts of the first half, Usuthu could not level the scores as the team’s headed into the half-time break with the visitors leading 1-0. Raja sealed the victory with 14 minutes left to the final whistle when Haddad beat Mothwa after shambolic defending from Usuthu.

Raja are now topping the group with 12 points from five matches while Setif are second on nine points from five outings. Usuthu dropped to third on six points also from five matches while Horoya are last with three points.

Usuthu will next travel to face Horoya on April 1.