Berkane stop Pirates on penalties to win CAF Confederation Cup title

RS Berkane are the champions of the 2021-22 TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup after seeing off Orlando Pirates 5-4 on post-match penalties in the final played at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, Nigeria.

The game was forced into penalties after a 1-1 draw in regulation plus extra time, and it was the Moroccans who had the penalty luck over their South African counterparts.

Pirates forward Thembinkosi Lorch suffered the extremes of two emotions, scoring a 117th minute equalizer, and then stepping up to see his penalty saved in the shootout.

He was the only one who missed on Pirates’ side while Berkane converted all their five kicks through Hamza El Moussaoui, Youssef Zghoudi, Ismail Mokadem, Issoufou Dayo and Brahim El Bahraoui who scored the winner.

Happy Jele scored the first for Pirates before Lorch, who was also named man of the match, missed the second. Tshegofatso Mabasa, Thabang Monare and goalkeeper Richard Ofori scored the subsequent three, but Berkane didn’t miss any and took the honors.

The game was forced into penalties after a 1-1 draw in regulation and extra time, where Pirates dominated and had most of the scoring opportunities. The game stood goalless after 90 minutes, forcing it into an extra 30.

Youssef Elfahli of RS Berkane and Innocent Maela of Orlando Pirates challenge for possession during the CAF Confederation Cup 202122 Final between Orlando Pirates and RS Berkane held at the Godswill Akpabio Inter

Seven minutes into the first period of added time, Berkane who hadn’t created much all game had their best chance to score, and they took it.

Referee Janny Sikazwe visited the pitch-side monitor to check on a foul by substitute Monare on Mokadem from a corner and the Pirates man was adjudged to have swept down Mokadem inside the box.

Youssef El Fahli stepped forward and with ice cold feet sent Ofori the wrong way to net his fifth goal of the campaign.

Pirates fought to get themselves back into contention and piled in the pressure. They were rewarded for their hunger three minutes to the end through a bizarre goal by Lorch.

The Pirates forward had intended to play a pass inside the box as they pushed Berkane into their own area. However, his intended pass was missed by everyone and trickled into the bottom right of Akbi Hamiani’s goal.

In regulation time, Pirates had the chances and should have wrapped up the game early were they clinical enough.

Orlando Pirates take a shot at goal during the CAF Confederation Cup 202122 Final between Orlando Pirates and RS Berkane held at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo, Nigeria on 20 May 2022

As early as the third minute of the game, they had a glorious opportunity when Goodman Mosele sent Dean Hotto through on goal with a peach of a through pass, but the winger couldn’t get a strong curl on the ball with space ahead of him.

Mosele created another chance in the 18th minute when he whipped a cross from the right, but skipper Happy Jele’s header looped just over the target.

Their top scorer Bandile Shandu then forced Berkane keeper Hamiani to a neat save in the 33rd minute, his low sweep from the edge of the box being palmed away by a strong right hand from the shot stopper.

In the second half, Berkane somehow upped their attacking game but couldn’t thread in the shots at goal, Ofori not being busy for most of the game.

With no goals in regular time, the game had to go to an extra 30. It ended 1-1, and the winner was decided from 12 yards out.

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