• Transfers: Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech set to be rewarded with new contract

    (Africanfootball.com) Eric ten Hag, the coach of Eredivisie giants AFC Ajax, says a new contract for Moroccan star Hakim Ziyech is in the works.

    The 25-year-old Atlas Lions midfielder was strongly linked with a move away from Amsterdam, with the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Italian giants Roma in particular said to be keen on signing him.

    Yet the deadline for a transfer in this window has come and gone, and Ziyech remains very much a key man in the Ajax squad for Erik ten Hag.

    The Dutch club’s qualification for the UEFA Champions League group stage – where they will take on Bayern Munich, AEK Athens and Benfica – is said to have been a key factor in Ziyech remaining at the Johan Cruyff Arena.

    And there’s further good news for the Moroccan World Cup star, who will not only get to play in the most prestigious club competition in Europe, but his club is working on a new and improved deal for him.

    “We assume that we will do this selection this season. We have a good group,” said ten Hag this week, who went on to express his satisfaction at Ziyech remaining with the club.

    "I hope we still have Hakim on board at midnight, I'm going for 100 percent. The contract negotiations have already started,” said the Ajax boss.

    Ten Hag also weighed in on the issue of Ajax right-back Noussair Mazraoui choosing Morocco over the Netherlands for his international future.

    "I did not talk to him about this, Noussair decided this in consultation with his family and agent,” explained the manager.

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  • Transfers: Adnan Tighadouini signs for Danish side Esbjerg FB on loan from Malaga.

    Adrian Regattin returns to top flight football after signing for Akhisarspor.

    Adel Taarabt stays with Benfica and has been included with the squad.

    Amine Khammas joins FC Den Bosch on loan from Genk.

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  • Press review: Achraf Bencharki joins RC Lens on loan

    (Kingfut.com) Morocco winger Achraf Bencharki has officially completed a loan move to Ligue 2 club RC Lens, leaving Saudi giants Al Hilal just six months into his contract.

    Bencharki joined Al Hilal in January 2018 from Wydad Casablanca for 5M euros after he had spent two years at the Moroccan giants and triumphed the CAF Champions League just before his departure.

    However, the 23-year-old winger’s spell at Al Hilal wasn’t entirely positive as he featured for only seven league games and appeared on six occasions in the AFC Champions League. Bencharki has three goals to his name with Al Hilal.

    Lens announced on Thursday that Bencharki is joining the club on loan with an option to buy him out at the end of the 2018/2019 season.

    “Achraf is a player that we wanted to sign since the last winter transfer window. He had just won the African Champions League, where he was also a crucial player in this victory since he was a scorer in the final,” Lens sporting director Eric Roy said.

    “At that time, we were not able to position ourselves with the presence of competition from Saudi clubs. I like to follow the players that we have targeted to know how they evolve. We met with Al Hilal President Sami Al-Jaber who helped us a lot in granting Bencharki the opportunity to come to Europe and succeed. I take this opportunity to thank him,” he added.

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  • CAF CL: Togo-Port hold defending champions Wydad

    (Africanfootball.com) Togo Port drew 0-0 with Wydad Casablanca in the 2018 CAF Champions League Group C match at the Stade Municipal in Togo on Tuesday.

    As a result, Togo-Port finished on fourth place on Group C table, while Morocco’s Wydad qualified for the quarter-finals as group winners.

    The Wydad of Resistance went into this encounter having already booked their place in the knockout stages, while Togo had been eliminated from the competition.

    Both teams created chances in search of the opening goal in the first half, but they could not break the deadlock and the score was 0-0 at the interval.

    Ayi Hunlede, who scored the only goal of the match as Togo-Port beat Mamelodi Sundowns 1-0 in a Group C game last month, was introduced by the hosts in the 58th minute.

    However, the Wydad defence which was marshaled by Ivorian central defender Cheick Comara was able to contain the deadly striker.

    Rachid Housni worked tirelessly for the Wydad of Resistance upfront as he looked to snatch a late winning goal for the visitors in the dying minutes of the game.

    Ultimately, the game ended in a 0-0 draw with Togo-Port having frustrated the defending champions Wydad.

    Togo-Port (0) 0

    Wydad (0) 0

    Togo-Port: Klomegan, Bourahana, Kove, Ibrahim, Djadji, Bode, Gazozo (Koussaglo 78’), Sewonou (Hunlede 58’) , Sangare (Nukafu 86’), Yacoubou, Kloukpo.

    Wydad: Benachour, Aarab (Housni 75’), Comara, Thigazaoui, Babatunde (Ait-Ben-Idir 89’), Saidi, Al Asbahi, El Karti, Nakach, Gaddarine, Haddadi (Hassouni 61’).

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  • CAF Confed Cup: Berkane edge Songo to end top of Group B

    (Africanfootball.com) RS Berkane beat UD Songo 2-1 in a 2018 CAF Confederation Cup clash at the Stade Municipal de Berkane on Wednesday evening to seal top spot in Group B for the Moroccans.

    The Oranges headed into the clash having already booked their place in the knockout stages alongside Al-Masry, but had to win to finish atop the group and duly secure a favourable draw.

    Alain Traoré got the ball rolling as early as the fifth minute for his second goal in as many games for the club. The Burkina Faso international showcased superb control on the edge of the area before firing a rasping left-footed shot into the back of the net.

    Songo, though, were not going to throw in the towel and the Mozambican club leveled matters two minutes after the break.

    Jimmy Ukonde with an unbelievable long range effort that left the goalkeeper, who remained rooted to his spot, with no chance.

    Berkane pressed forward in search of the winner and Mohammed Farehane provided the finish to seal all three points in the 72nd minute. The attacker with a neat finish from a tight angle as the hosts sealed top spot.

    Al-Masry beat Al-Hilal Omdurman 2-0 at the same time in Port Said, Egypt.

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  • CAF Confed Cup: Raja Casablanca end as Group A winners

    (Africanfootball.com) Raja Casablanca ended top of their 2018 CAF Confederation Cup group after claiming an emphatic 6-0 win over Aduana Stars at Stade Mohamed V on Wednesday night.

    The Moroccans’ victory sees them leapfrog to the top of Group A on 11 points, with DR Congo side AS Vita dropping to second after they were beaten by ASEC Mimosas in Abidjan in a concurrent match. Ghana’s Stars finished bottom on four points.

    Raja were two goals up inside the opening quarter hour thanks to a brace from Mouhssine Iajour, and added to their advantage in the first half with goals from Zakarai Hadraf and Soufiane Rahimi.

    Substitute Mahmoud Benhalib added two further goals in the second half as the Green Eagles cruised to the biggest win recorded by any team in the group stage of this year’s competition.

    Raja are joined in the knockout stages by fellow Group A team AS Vita (DRC), as well as RS Berkane (Morocco), Al Masry (Egypt), Enyimba (Nigeria), CARA Brazzaville (Congo), USM Alger (Algeria) and Rayon Sports (Rwanda).

    Raja Casablanca (4) 6 (Iajour 3’ 15’, Hadraf 30’, Rahimi 33’, Benhalib 67’ 82’)

    Aduana Stars 0

    Raja: Zniti, Warfali, Hadraf, Iajour (Benhalib 52’), Banoun, Hafidi (Achcakir 46’), Niasse, Jbira, Rahimi, Bahi, Boutayeb (Alami 56’)

    Stars: Yeboah, Aidoo (Rashid 76’), Boateng, Yahaya, Opoku, Ulitch (Anane 21’), Soumana, Akuoko, S. Adams, B. Adams, Martey

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  • NT: Mazraoui chooses Morocco over Netherlands

    (Football-Oranje) Ajax defender Noussair Mazraoui has turned down advances from the Dutch national team and will represent Morocco.

    The 20-year-old was born in the Netherlands but has represented Morocco at youth level. Ronald Koeman spoke with Mazraoui and his agent last week in order to convince him to choose Netherlands.

    However, Mazraoui has confirmed to De Telegraaf that he has chosen Morocco and will accept their call-up for the African Cup of Nations qualifier against Malawi next month.

    Mazraoui told De Telegraaf, “Mr. Koeman had an excellent story and presented the plan he had for me. That impressed me and I am really honoured that he has done this effort for me.”

    However, Morocco is the youngster’s choice, ‘I am now looking forward to meeting Hervé Renard, the national coach of Morocco, and the players.’

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  • UNAF U-17: Morocco edges Tunisia to claim sole ticket

    Morocco will represent UNAF at next year’s Total U-17 Africa Cup of Nations in Tanzania after finishing tops in the zonal qualifying series.

    The Atlas Cubs maintained their unbeaten run, beating Tunisia 1-0 in the ultimate match on Tuesday in Monastir. In a highly tempered match that saw ten players cautioned (five from each side), Akram Nakach scored the only goal of the match on 21 minutes. It was the third victory for Morocco after previous wins over Libya in Algeria.

    In the other match in Sousse, Algeria and Libya played to a 1-1 draw. Riad Rahmoun opened the score sheet for Algeria on 24 minutes before Abraheem Almusrt drew level nine minutes later.

    After the round-robin matches, Morocco finished on nine points, Algeria on four points whilst Tunisia and Libya followed in that order with three and one point respectively.

    Morocco thus joins the likes of Uganda (CECAFA), Angola (COSAFA) and Cameroon (UNIFFAC) who have qualified alongside host Tanzania for next year’s finals. The remaining three slots will be known in a fortnight after the completion of the qualifiers for WAFU A (two teams) and WAFU B (one team).

    Complete Results

    Monday 20 August 2018

    Tunisia 1-0 Libya

    Morocco 5-2 Algeria

    Friday 24 August 2018

    Morocco 1-0 Libya

    Algeria 2-0 Tunisia

    Tuesday 28 August 2018

    Tunisia 0-1 Morocco

    Libya 1-1 Algeria

    Final Standings

    1- Morocco (9 points)

    2- Algeria (4 points)

    3- Tunisia (3 points)

    4- Libya (1 point)

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  • NT U-17: Morocco qualify for African Nations Cup 2019 after beating Tunisia in the last game through a goal from Akram Nakach. 3 wins out 3 for our cubs against Algeria, Libya & Tunisia.

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  • Transfers: Antalyaspor sign former international Abdelaziz Barrada.

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