March 26, 2012 (CAF)
March 26, 2012 (CAF)
Ghana champions Berekum Chelsea shocked continental powerhouse Raja Athletic Club of Morocco by beating them 5-0 in their Orange CAF Champions League 1/16th round first leg clash on Sunday in Berekum.
Striker Emmanuel Clottey netted a hat-trick whilst other strikes from Solomon Asante and Abdul Basit handed them the first leg cushion ahead of the return leg in a fortnight in Casablanca.
Berekum Chelsea, debutants in the continental club championship took well their chances as they tore apart Raja Athletic Club, thrice winners of the premier African club championship. The result marks one of the heaviest defeats suffered by the 10-time Moroccan Champions in their continental campaigns.
The hosts started well and appeared poised for an early goal as the Moroccans struggled to contain the onslaughts into their half. They had to wait till the 33rd minute before Asante broke the deadlock with a shot on the turn from Basit’s cross from the right.
The Moroccans deplored a tactical approach and relied on the counter but paid the price for their sluggish defensive abilities.
With a lone goal lead at half time, it was Berekum Chelsea all the way in the second half as they pinned their visitors to their half. Less than 20 seconds into the half, Clottey capitalised on a defensive blunder to score his side’s second goal.
On 54 minutes, Clottey scored his second goal from the spot after captain Basit was fouled in the vital area by his marker. At this stage, it looked a tall mountain for the “Green Eagles” as they labored in search of their feet.
Midfielder Basit made it 4-0 by connecting home from a goalmouth action before Clottey completed the rout with his third goal of the day two minutes from time.
Reaction: Berekum Chelsea vs Raja Athletic Club
Hans Van der Pluijm (Head Coach, Berekum Chelsea)
“I was confident of victory but not by such a margin. We played very well and at some point I was sure we could score more goals. The task is not over yet and we have to organise ourselves very well for the second leg.”
Emmanuel Clottey (striker, Berekum Chelsea)
“I am very happy with our performance today. We worked very hard and we deserved victory. Also, I feel great to have scored a hat-trick and I thank my colleagues for their support. We have to maintain our confidence and prepare for the second leg.”