Chiefs crash out of Champions League

Stuart Baxter (Supplied)
Stuart Baxter (Supplied)

Cape Town - Kaizer Chiefs saw their CAF Champions League campaign come to an end in the first round after going down 2-0 to Raja Casablanca at Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca on Sunday evening.

The South African Premiership leaders headed to Morocco trailing 1-0 from the first leg in March, but were unable to turn things around in North Africa as Osaguona Ighodaro added to his lone strike in Soweto with a late brace this weekend to wrap up a 3-0 aggregate win for the Raja Eagles.

Both sides looked to feel each other out in the opening 10 minutes, with George Lebese seeing his delivery into the area easily dealt with by the defence, while Morgan Gould performed the same duty for Chiefs at the other end to head Abdeljalil Jbira's cross away from danger.

The hosts created the game's first real chance after 15 minutes as Yassine Salhi was played through on goal, but the midfielder seemed to lose his composure at the crucial moment after firing wide from close range.

It was then the Glamour Boys' turn to threaten as Lebese broke into the area before letting fly, but the forward was unlucky to see his shot deflected behind.

The game continued to prove end to end and Tefu Mashamaite needed to be at his brilliant best to just get in a block on Vianney Mabide's close-range effort, although the half ended on a sour note for Chiefs as Gould needed to be stretchered of after picking up an injury, with South Africa international Erick Mathoho coming on in his compatriot's place.

Just five minutes after the restart, Stuart Baxter and his entire bench were up on their feet as Lebese again broke clean through on goal with only the goalkeeper to beat, but the midfielder somehow contrived to put his effort wide of the mark, much to the dismay of his coach.

Lebese was pulling all the strings for the Soweto giants and curled a dangerous ball into the area to find Mandla Masango, but his header was straight at El Allouch, who easily gathered the ball.

Chiefs continued to look the more lively but Masango wasted two glorious chances in quick succession, both set up by the impressive Matthew Rusike, but on both occasions he was unable to make it count, most notably at the second attempt when he took an unnecessary touch in the area to allow the defence to get a foot in to block his shot from a few feet out.

With just four minutes of normal time remaining, though, Amakhosi handed the tie to the Eagles, Siboniso Gaxa inexplicably chesting the ball down into the path of Ighodaro, who needed no second invitation to slot the ball past Itumeleng Khune from just a few feet out.

And, three minutes into second-half injury time the Nigerian struck again, Gaxa once more guilty of failing to control a long ball over the top, with Ighodaro taking his time to control at the far post before rifling his shot in off the underside of the crossbar.

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