x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Raja Casablanca open Club World Cup with win over Auckland

The Moroccan host club topped the New Zealand side 2-1 on Wednesday thanks to a stoppage-time winner from Abdelilah Afidi.

Abdelilah Hafidi and Raja Casablanca won the Club World Cup opener on Wednesday. Louafi Larbi / Reuters
Abdelilah Hafidi and Raja Casablanca won the Club World Cup opener on Wednesday. Louafi Larbi / Reuters

AGADIR, Morocco // Raja Casablanca scored late into stoppage time to beat Auckland City 2-1 in the opening match of the annual Club World Cup in Morocco on Wednesday.

Abdelilah Hafidi tapped home the winner in the 2nd minute of added time to ensure the host club a winning start at the Agadir Stadium.

Raja took a 1-0 lead in the 39th through Mouhssine Iajour after he beat goalkeeper Tamati Williams with a shot into the far corner.

The New Zealand club rallied through Fijian Roy Krishna, who found himself alone to beat keeper Khalid Askri after Mohamed Oulhaj and Ismail Benlamalem ran into each other.

Raja set up a quarterfinal match Sunday with Mexican club Monterrey after Williams saved Oulhaj’s header, only for it to fall to the foot of Hafidi.

Formerly known as the Intercontinental Cup, the Club World Cup is being played in Africa for the first time.

European champions Bayern Munich and South America’s Copa Libertadores victors Atletico Mineiro enter from the semifinals, starting on Tuesday.

Corinthians beat Chelsea 1-0 to lift the title last year.