(Africanfootball.com) A 3-0 win over AS Otoho at their Municipal Stadium on Sunday night has secured a place in the next phase of the Confederation Cup for RS Berkane.
The result sees the Moroccan side secure progression into the quarterfinals as group winners (11 points) with one game to spare. The Congo side are tied for second with Hassania Agadir (five points each), while Raja Casablanca complete the quartet (four points).
Berkane got off to a flyer and claimed the lead as early as the sixth minute, with Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba sending an effort beyond the reach of Otoho goalkeeper Wolfrigon Mongondza.
The Moroccans took full control of the game just after the half hour mark when Salman Ouald El Haj netted to make it 2-0. The attacker had replaced Alain Traore just a few minutes prior in Berkane’s first substitution.
Abdessamad El Mobaraky added a third for RSB five minutes into the second stanza, taking advantage of some slack defending from the Congo side before slipping an effort beyond Mongondza for 3-0.
The hosts were able to coast to victory through the remainder of the game, safe in the knowledge that a place in the last eight of the continental competition was secure.
The teams will wrap up their group stage campaign next weekend, with RSB away to Hassania in a Moroccan derby and Otoho at home to Raja Casablanca.
RS Berkane (2) 3 (Laba 6’, El Haj 32’, El Mobaraky 50’)
AS Otoho 0
Berkane: Mhamdi, Namsaoui, Regragui, Mokadem, Aziz, Farehane (El Mahdi 90’), Ouidare, El Helali (Yechou 75’), El Mobaraky, Traore (El Haj 29’), Laba
Otoho: Mongondza, Ondongo, Moubhibo, Bakima, Bissiki (Bagayoko 71’), Konte, Lakolo, Wamba, Ngoma, Yedan (Cisse 61’ [Ngouelou 76’]), Biassadila
(BBC Sport) Morocco's Confederation Cup holders Raja Casablanca have named Frenchman Patrice Carteron as their new coach.
The 48-year-old replaces Spaniard Juan Carols Garrido, whose contract was ended by Raja on Monday.
Carteron has signed until the end of the season with an option to renew after that.
The former Mali and TP Mazembe boss led Egypt's Al Ahly to the 2018 African Champions League final but was sacked after the loss to Tunisia's Esperance.
He takes over a club third in the Moroccan top-flight six points behind leaders and rivals Wydad Casablanca with a game in hand.
(BBC Sports) Egyptian club Zamalek, one of the strongest contenders for the 2018/2019 African Confederation Cup campaign, were paired with Morocco's Ittihad Tanger on Friday in the play-offs draw in Cairo.
Ittihad are among 15 teams who drop into the Confederation Cup from the African Champions League, the premier African club competition.
Zamalek sounded a warning in the African equivalent of the Europa League when they slammed seven goals past Chadian side ASCOT in the qualifier.
Tunisian sides CS Sfaxien and Etoile du Sahel and holders Raja Casablanca of Morocco are three other clubs in the play-offs with outstanding pedigrees.
Record three-time Confederation Cup winners Sfaxien drew Ugandan side Vipers SC and are favourites to win the tie and secure a place in the 16-team group phase.
Raja, whose 11 victories and 34 goals last season were records for a Confederation Cup-winning team, were paired with minnows African Stars from Namibia.
Etoile, twice winners of the Confederation Cup, received a bye to the group draw as they had the highest ranking among the 16 survivors after Confederation Cup qualifying.
Asante Kotoko of Ghana and Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa will play away first.
Kotoko visit Cameroonian club and experienced African campaigners Coton Sport while Chiefs travel to Zambian outfit Zesco United.
African Confederation Cup play-offs draw
Gor Mahia (KEN) v New Star (CMR)
Al Ahly Benghazi (LBA) v NA Hussein Dey (ALG)
Al Hilal (SUD) v Mukura Victory (RWA)
Nkana (ZAM) v FC San Pedro (CIV)
Coton Sport (CMR) v Asante Kotoko (GHA)
Zesco Utd (ZAM) v Kaizer Chiefs (RSA)
Stade Malien (MLI) v Petro Atletico (ANG)
Raja Casablanca (MAR, holders) v African Stars (NAM)
Renaissance Berkane (MAR) v ASC Jaraaf (SEN)
CS Sfaxien (TUN) v Vipers SC (UGA)
Zamalek (EGY) v Ittihad Tanger (MAR)
Kampala Capital City Authority (UGA) v AS Otoho (CGO)
Bantu (LES) v Enugu Rangers (NGR)
Al Nasr (LBA) v Salitas (BUR)
Jimma Aba Jifar (ETH) v Hassania Agadir (MAR)
Winners qualify for group phase
CAF Confederation Cup trophy-holders Raja Casablanca of Morocco began their title defence by thrashing visiting Cercle Mberi Sportif of Gabon 5-0 Sunday in a round-of-32 first leg.
All the goals came during the second half with captain Badr Benoun temporarily abandoning his centre-back duties to trigger the rout with a 52nd-minute goal at the Stade Mohamed V.
Mahmoud Benhalib, leading scorer in the second-tier African club competition last season with 12 goals, netted soon after and Abderrahim Achchakir converted a penalty on 68 minutes.
With the two-leg tie slipping from their grasp, the Gabonese collapsed in the closing stages and Ben Soumahoro conceded an own-goal before Ugandan Muhammad Shaban completed the rout.
The clubs meet again this Saturday in Libreville and the only issue to be resolved would appear to be how many goals Raja will win by on aggregate.
Raja were the second biggest round-of-32 first leg winners after Zamalek of Egypt, who humiliated ASCOT of Chad 7-0 in Cairo Saturday.
Record three-time Confederation Cup winners CS Sfaxien, fellow Tunisians Etoile Sahel, Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa, Renaissance Berkane of Morocco and KCCA of Uganda built three-goal leads.
The African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League has been dominated by clubs from the north of the continent, who have won 10 of the 15 finals.