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FAR, USMA clinch two-goal wins as 10-man Rivers stun Motema

FAR Rabat and USM Alger clinched two-goal wins, while 10-man Rivers United earned a slim victory on away soil as Match Day Three of the 2022-23 TotalEnergies CAF Champions League concluded on Sunday evening.

In Rabat, hosts FAR were 2-0 winners over Egyptian debutants Future FC. Goals in either half from Igmane Hamza and Lamine Diakite earned the hosts maximum points as they moved to seven points on top of Group C.

Hamza broke the deadlock for FAR on the half hour mark when he volleyed home from inside the box after the Future keeper punched a corner right into his path. The Moroccans had started the match well and dominated, with Ahmed Hammoudan having earlier forced the keeper to a good save with a shot from distance.

The Egyptian side’s best chance fell on Mohamed Farouk whose strike from the right was well saved by the keeper. In the second half, Future piled pressure for an equalizer, but they couldn’t land the ball into the net.

It was the home side who would score next, Ivorian Diakite hitting the back of the net in the second minute of added time.

Elsewhere in Algiers, USM Alger moved to seven points on top of Group A after edging out South African debutants Marumo Gallants 2-0. Abderrahmane Meziane and Zinnedine Bellaid scored in either half for the Algerians.

Gallants remained second in the group with six points from their first to wins in a row.

Meziane was a constant thorn for Gallants and he broke the deadlock in the 38th minute with a sweet curling effort from the edge of the area. The ball had fallen kindly in his path after Gallants desperately tried to clear following the keeper’s brilliant save to deny Belaid’s header from a corner.

In the second half, Meziane continued troubling Gallants, first having a shot from the edge parried away by the keeper before his freekick was also pushed away by the shot stopper.

Gallants completed the victory late on in the 89th minute, Bellaid finally having his goal from a setpiece.

In Kinshasa, 10-man Rivers United stunned hosts DC Motema Pembe 1-0 with forward Paul Acquah scoring the winning goal.

The Ghanaian converted in the 52nd minute of the match on the second bite of the cherry after his initial header was blocked by the keeper.

The Nigerian side had to play the entire second half with 10 men after Gideon Duru was sent off in the 42nd minute for a second yellow card, for simulation. But, they showed heart to clinch three points and move top of Group B with six points.

Despite going down to 10 men, Rivers had started the second half strongly and just before his goal, Acquah had a dipping effort from the right come against the crossbar.

After conceding, Motema almost immediately sounded a response with Rachidi Musinga’s curling effort from the edge of the area going just wide while Bongonga Bwanga had an effort on the volley roll inches wide minutes later.

Motema pressured Rivers to try get the equalizer, but the Nigerian visitors defended well.


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