RS Berkane of Morocco are champions of Africa. The Oranges lifted the CAF Confederation Cup title for the 2nd time in Uyo on Friday night after defeating the most favoured Orlando Pirates of South Africa.
“RS had all the support of Morocco and some Nigerian fans. The other team is good but we have the best players. It was a difficult game but we have to win it for our King. Nigeria is a nice place. Thank you all.” Anas Izem spokesman for RS Berkane said after their victory.
It was a highly tense match, but entertaining football game. The majority of Uyo fans wanted the Pirates to win and end its 27 years old lack of Continental silverware. They also desired to see one of their own, Olisa Ndah lift the trophy but the ‘Happy People’ could not despite creating most scoring chances right from the 3rd minute of play.
“Congratulations to RS Berkane, very sad for our team we lost the finals. We created so many chances and dominated the game but we couldn’t do what is most important, that is putting the ball in the net. I feel for the players who fought all their heart out, I feel for the team.” Coach Mandla Ncikazi said.
Jean-Florent Ibenge, the Congolese coach of RS Berkane said his team was very ambitious and got rewarded for it.
“Am proud because it is not easy to win the final. I lost two finals before with Vita Club. Am happy for my club, my team, my family and Moroccans. And also Congolese people, they are watching me today and I think they are happy about my victory.
“Pirates were really good today, they have good and fast players. They controlled the game but we were more combative. In the first half, we let them play as they want. In the second half, I changed a bit and brought more pressure in the middle. We have good motivation to win this game because we work on penalties and we know that we came here to play to the last blast of the whistle. We were concentrated on that and we won.” The former CAF Coach of the Year nominee Ibenge said.
It was generally tough luck for the South Africans despite all the Nigerian support. The fans booed when a penalty was awarded to RS Berkane in the extra 15minutes, but broke into a sudden thunderstorm of excitement when the Pirates equalizer came in the late minutes.
It ended 1-1 after 120minute of play as the Cup winners needed to be decided on penalties.
Orlando Pirates’ second shooter missed by playing into goalkeeper Hamza Akbi’s hands while the Moroccan scored all five to become African CAF Confederation title holders for 2022.