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CAF Confederation Cup

Orlando Pirates 1-1 RS Berkane (4-5 pens): The Oranges crowned 2021-22 Caf Confederation Cup champions

7:58 am AEST 21/5/22
 Ismail Mokadem, RS Berkane & Deon Hotto, Orlando Pirates, May 2022
Moroccan clubs continued their dominance of Africa's secondary club tournament as Raja Casablanca won last season's title

RS Berkane defeated Orlando Pirates 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the Caf Confederation Cup final at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Nigeria on Friday night.

Both goals were scored in extra-time as Youssef El Fahli broke the deadlock after Berkane were awarded a penalty. However, Thembinkosi Lorch levelled matters, ensuring that the match went into a penalty shootout where the Pirates star became the villain for registering the only miss.

Kabelo Dlamini was recalled to the starting line-up as the Pirates coach coaches Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids made one change to the team which faced Libyan side Al Ahli Tripoli in the semi-final first-leg match last weekend. The South African giants were looking to become the first South African club to win the Confederation Cup after they also lost to Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia in the 2015 final.

While Berkane coach Florent Ibenge made two changes to the team which took on TP Mazembe of DR Congo last weekend as Mehdi Oubila and Charki El-Bahri were handed starting berths. The Oranges had reached back-to-back finals between 2019 and 2020 - losing to Egyptian giants Zamalek, before defeating Pyramids of Egypt to clinch their first continental title.

Pirates exerted pressure on Berkane from the first whistle, but the Southern African side was wasteful in front of goal. Deon Hotto had a golden opportunity to put Bucs in the lead after being played in down the middle by Dlamini, but the Namibia international shot straight at the goalkeeper Hamza Hamiani.

Olisa Ndah, who was playing in his home country, attempted to collect a rebound from a fumble from Hamiani who recovers well to nullify the threat following Hotto's free-kick. Hamiani was a busy man as he denied Thembinkosi Lorch whose long-range shot was gathered with ease by the 28-year-old shot-stopper.

The pressure continued to mount on the North African side with the half-time break approaching as Shandu forced Hamiani into producing a wonderful save. Keeper Richard Ofori was called into action for the first time in first-half stoppage time and he made a fine save to deny Youssef El Fahli. The score was 0-0 at the interval with Pirates having dominated the first half without scoring.

Pirates continued to control the match after the restart and another great chance fall for Hotto. However, the former Bidvest Wits star was wasteful on the night as his effort was blocked by Hamiani from point-blank range, much to the dismay of the Pirates players and technical team as he failed to score his first goal in this season's Confederation Cup.

There was then a scramble inside the Oranges' box with Lorch eventually attempting to fire one past Hamiani, who reacted well and made a vital save. Davids and Ncikazi then refreshed their attack pulling out Kwame Peprah who had a quiet game and introduced fellow centre forward Tshegofatso Mabasa.

Berkane launched late attacks in the latter stages of the game, but Ndah was in his element on the night in the heart of the Pirates defence as he made vital clearances and interceptions including one, where he made a crucial tackle to deny El Fahli a chance to shoot at goal from inside the Bucs box.

The match ended in a 0-0 draw in regulation time and extra-time followed.

Thabang Monare was introduced prior to the start of the first half of extra-time by Pirates and his first contribution was to concede a penalty as he was adjudged to have fouled Ismail Mokadem in the box by Zambian match referee Janny Sikazwe. El Fahli made no mistake from the spot-kick as he beat Ofori from the spot-kick to hand Berkane a 1-0 lead in the 97th minute.

The Oranges then sat back and allowed the Buccaneers to attack in numbers, and the 1995 African champions managed to score late in the second half of extra-time. Linda Mntambo's flicked header found Lorch who beat Hamiani with a low shot to make it 1-1 in the 117th minute and the match went into a penalty shootout after ending in a draw.

However, Man of the Match Lorch was the only Pirates player who failed to convert from the spot during the shootout as he was denied by Hamiani. Therefore, Berkane emerged as 5-4 winners on penalties as the Moroccan side converted all of their five spot-kicks on the night.