Aduana Stars recover to hold Raja Casablanca in Confederation Cup

Badr Benoun of Raja Club Athletic and Bright Adjei of Aduana Stars FC CHRISTIAN THOMPSON/EPA-EFE/Backpagepix

Aduana Stars staged a remarkable recovery to hold Raja Casablanca to a 3-3 home draw in the CAF Confederation Cup on Wednesday, but still have their work cut out to reach the knockout stages.

The Ghanaian champions fell behind three times, but recovered on each occasion to preserve an undefeated home record that stretches back two seasons.

However, the draw leaves them at the foot of Group A, having taken one point from their opening two matches. AS Vita Club lead the group on four points after beating ASEC Mimosas, second on three, 3-1 on Wednesday.

"It's really disappointing for me because we expected to win," Aduana coach Yusif Abubakar told journalists after the match. "To me personally, this is a loss.

"We knew Raja are a very experienced side, but we committed the same mistakes, especially at the back.

"I am not satisfied at all."

Nathaniel Asamoah was the hero for Stars as he netted a late equaliser from inside the box having missed a sitter moments earlier.

Raja were the stronger side overall in some blistering conditions in Dormaa, and took the lead after four minutes when Mahmoud Benhalib beat the offside trap to finish past Joseph Addo.

Aduana were level nine minutes later when Congolese new boy Oba Ikama got on the end of a Sam Adams pass before beating Anas Zniti.

Ikama then had two more opportunities to increase the lead in the 19th and 21st minutes, but missed narrowly from a free kick before sending an effort from inside the box just wide.

Moments later, Raja made the hosts pay for those misses.

Aduana's defending was lax, and when Mabidi Lema sneaked in at the back post unmarked, he headed the visitors back in front.

Caleb Amankwah restored parity soon after the break when he headed in from a corner three minutes into the second half, and Aduana would have taken the lead had Zniti not denied Adams from close range.

Derrick Sasraku could only finish against the woodwork after a fine run, and Raja again punished Stars when Benhalib doubled his tally with a curling effort as the North Africans took a giant step towards three valuable points.

Veteran Asamoah came off the bench only to fluff his lines in the closing stages, before making his mark five minutes into injury time.