The wide assumption across the football world was a final between FC Bayern München and Atlético Minero. The two were arguably the best sides on paper, but if teams played football matches on paper then no one would get hurt.
Raja Casablanca, playing in its fourth game of the tournament, shook the foundations of Marrakech stadium when it upset the Copa Libertadores champions 3-1 in front of a raucous home crowd. The tournament hosts now get to play the UEFA champions in what will be an earth quacking atmosphere.
Mouhssine Iajour landed the first punch in the 51st minute after slotting a ball home from Abdelilah Hafidi. It was his second goal of the tournament, as he scored in the opening match against New Zealand club Auckland City. Ronaldinho equalized on a poetic free kick around the Casablanca wall and into the top right corner.
Iajour then broke forward in the 80th and drew a penalty despite not making contact with Minero defender Réver. The 28-year-old pleaded with referee Carlos Velasco, but the Spaniard was convinced and pointed to the spot. Mouhssine Moutouali misdirected keeper Victor to give the Moroccans a 2-1 lead.
Minero frantically pushed service into the penalty area over the next ten minutes, although nothing gave the Casablancan defenders any worry a breach. Vianney Mabidé came on in the later stages and scored on a break forward to make the match 3-1.
Atlético Minero looked embarrassed in the waning minutes of the second half as the players' hopes to replicate the task of their Brazilian compatriots Corinthians came to an undesirable end. Remarkable, how a fringe side in the competition have defeated all three of its opponents to play in a final in front of a favorable stadium.
Casablanca will defend its country against FC Bayern in the Marrakech Stadium on Saturday at 2:30 EST. A final that appeared predetermined just got a very intriguing narrative attached to it.
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