Morocco's Berkane win Confed Cup with shootout victory over Pirates

Ahram Online , Saturday 21 May 2022

Moroccan side RS Berkane won their second African Confederation Cup title in three years after beating South Africa's Orlando Pirates 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw at Nigeria's Godswill Akpabio Stadium on Friday.

RS Berkane v Orlando Pirates
Morocco s RS Berkane beat Orlando Pirates in the African Confederation Cup final on Friday (Photo: Pirates official Twitter account)

Brahim El Bahraoui scored the winning penalty after Pirates keeper Richard Ofori, who had scored his side's fourth spot kick, failed to save any of Berkane's efforts.

Winger Thembinkosi Lorch turned from hero to zero as Pirates missed out on their maiden Confederation Cup triumph after also losing in the 2015 final.

He scored a bizarre 117th-minute equaliser to cancel out Youssef El Fahli's penalty in the first half of extra time but had his effort blocked by keeper Hamza Hamiani in the shootout.

Hamiani was Berkane's standout performer, producing some superb saves to keep his side in the game as Pirates looked the better side throughout.

Berkane lost on penalties to Egypt's Zamalek in the 2019 final but won the trophy a year later. Another Moroccan side, Raja Casablanca, clinched the title last year.

Key saves

Hamiani kept out a low, angled effort from striker Kwame Peprah on 34 minutes before producing an even better save to smother a close-range effort from Deon Kavendji early in the second half, denying Orlando a certain goal.

He also comfortably collected a tame shot from Lorch, who was well-positioned to score following some slack defending.

Berkane, who rarely threatened, took the lead in the 97th minute when Pirates substitute Thabang Monare, who had just been on the pitch for a few minutes, clumsily stuck out a leg to foul an opponent following a corner.

El Fahli sent keeper Ofori the wrong way with a low effort as Berkane thought they had the match dead and buried.

But Pirates did not give up, with Tshegofatso Mabasa heading just wide from a corner before Lorch brought them level three minutes from the end of extra time.

After his initial effort was blocked by the defence, Mabasa collected the loose ball just inside the area and sent a stray pass that somehow eluded all defenders and found its way into the bottom corner past Hamiani, who had been unsighted by his own defence.

But Berkane had the last laugh in the shootout, converting all of their kicks, as Moroccan teams made it a hat-trick of straight Confederation Cup triumphs.

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