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Berkane Crowned CAF Confederation Cup Champions

RS Berkane were crowned CAF Confederation Cup champions after beating Orlando Pirates 5-4 on penalties after the game finished 1-1 after extra-time at the Godswil Akpabio Stadium in Nigeria on Friday evening.

Pirates started the fixture with real intent and vigour to impose themselves on the fixture as Mandla Ncikazi mentioned in the pre-match press conference was their tactical approach in the continental final.

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Deon Hotto was guilty of missing a gilt-edged chance with Pirates having six shots at goal in the opening half while restricting the 2019/20 champions to just one on target which Richard Ofori dealt with.

With the game going straight to penalties both sides were well aware going into the break that it would one mistake or one moment of brilliance to separate the two sides and the nerves were telling as the second half started more tentative than the first.

Berkane’s patient approach from Florent Ibenge, who was in his third CAF inter-club final as a coach seemed to be a dangerous one as chances crept in, with Thembinkosi Lorch having a decent one on the hour mark but his effort went straight into the arms of goalkeeper Hamza Hamiani Akbi.

The final eventually petered out towards extra-time in which Berkane took advantage of Pirates’ lack of cutting edge when they opened the scoring in the 96th minute via a VAR-awarded penalty which Youssef El Fahli slotted his sixth goal of the tournament home past Richard Ofori.

It proved to set up a frenetic ending of the game and Thembinkosi Lorch netted a fortuitous goal in the 117th minute to send the game to penalties, much to the delight of the supporters in the Akwa Arena, the former home ground of Pirates star defender Olisa Ndah.

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However, Berkane went on to secure their second Confederation Cup title in three seasons after the 5-4 win on penalties, booking their spot in the CAF Super Cup, where they will face Al Ahly or domestic rivals Wydad Atheltic Club.

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.