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Orlando Pirates

Bucs Suffer Confed Cup Heartbreak On Penalties

Orlando Pirates missed out on the CAF Confederation Cup title after suffering defeat to RS Berkane on penalties at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.

CAF Confederation Cup

Result: Orlando Pirates 1-1 RS Berkane (Berkane won 5-4 on penalties)

Date: 20 May 2022

Venue: Godswill Akpabio International Stadium

Pirates made only one change to the side that narrowly lost the semi-final second-leg against Al Ahli Tripoli, as Kabelo Dlamini took the place of Abel Mabaso in an attacking line-up.

The Buccaneers had a big chance to go ahead in the fourth minute after Deon Hotto went through on goal from Dlamini's defence-splitting pass but fired a tame shot in the arms of goalkeeper Hamza Hamiani.

Berkane showed glimpses of what they can do upfront shortly after that as Mehdi Oubilla unleashed a half-volley from the edge of the box that flashed wide but apart from that chance, Florent Ibenge's troops sat deep in their own half and absorbed the pressure.

The Soweto giants had the ascendancy and Bandile Shandu almost made their dominance count in the 33rd minute with a grass-cutter in the box that forced Hamiani to make an out-stretched low save.

Pirates had a wonderful chance to break the deadlock from a set-piece on the edge of the box but Hotto curled his strike over the crossbar, before shot-stopper Richard Ofori had to keep out a threatening strike by Youssef El Fahli just after that at the other end.

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The Buccaneers were on the front foot coming after the break, as Hoto had another big chance to break the deadlock within three minutes after going through in the six-yard box but his strike produced a reflex save from Hamiani.

It was one-way traffic in the second half. Thembinkosi Lorch had an opportunity to give them the lead on the hour-mark after Hamiani was caught out of his area but he dragged his shot on the path of the Moroccan shot-stopper.

The Orange Boys had a sense of urgency in the latter stages, as the game opened up and there for the taking but the sides lacked the finishing touches in the last third.

Larbi Naji almost conceded an own goal for Berkane in the dying minutes with a clearance that missed the bottom corner by inches while Olisa Ndah snuffed out a dangerous attack by the Moroccan outfit, which sent the the sides to extra-time.

Pirates made a double change at the beginning of extra-time as Thabang Monare and Siphesihle Ndlovu both replaced Ben Motshwari and Shandu for fresh legs.

However, Berkane were awarded a penalty in the fourth minute of extra-time after the referee spotted a foul by Monare on Ismail Makadem in the box on the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) monitor, which allowed El Fahli to convert from 12 yards out.

The Buccaneers had a sense of urgency in the dying minutes of extra-time and they finally levelled matters in the last three minutes after a stray pass by Lorch evaded the Berkane defence and trickled into the bottom corner to send the game to penalties.

While Lorch was the hero in extra-time, it was a different story in the shoot-out as the Orange Boys won 5-4 on penalties after Lorch's spot-kick was saved by Hamiani while Brahim El Bahraoui scored the decisive penalty for Berkane, who were crowned champions for the second time.

Here's how they lined up:

Pirates: Ofori, Jele, Maela, Ndah, Shandu, Dlamini, Motshwari, Mosele, Lorch, Peprah, Hotto

Subs: Mpontshane, Hlatshwayo, Ndlovu, Monare, Makaringe, Nyauza, Mabasa, Mntambo, Dzvukamanja.

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