CAF Confederation Cup Final: RS Berkane edge Zamalek 2-1 in Morocco

Radio Univers
Radio Univers
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Amid political unrest and turmoil in their semi-final fixture against USM Alger, which ended in a 3-0 walkover in both legs, RS. Berkane proved their mettle in overcoming off-field distractions with a crucial 2-1 CAF Confederation Cup first leg final win over Zamalek in Morocco on Sunday night.

A sold out Stade Municipal De Berkane cheered the home side out as they made their way to take on the 2019 Confederation Cup winners, Zamalek.

A keenly contested game was highly anticipated between the sides prior to kick off, given both teams accounted for 3 of the last 5 winners medal in the competition.

The home side, however, started the game on the front foot, dictating and dominating proceedings as Zamalek tried to sort themselves in the early stages.

However, Berkane’s El Fahli was brought down in the box after making a darting run and showing a bit of trickery to get away from Zamalek’s defence, which referee Peter Wareru’s on-field decision was to continue play.

Wareru was then called to the monitors by the Video Assistant Referee’s (VAR), leading to the initial on-field decision being rescinded – much to the delight of the home supporters, and despair of the away fans.

Skipper of the side, Issoufou Dayo stepped up to dispatch the ball into the net after 13 minutes, scoring in yet another final after netting in Berkane’s 1-0 win over Pyramids in the 2019/20 season.

It was all Berkane thereof, threatening to extend their lead with numerous incursions at Zamalek’s goal, which eventually paid off when Adil Tahif rose highest to nod in El Morabit’s out swinging delivery on 32 minutes.

The goal gave the home side a comfortable cushion heading into the second half, but left Zamalek biting their nails as to what to do.

Jose Gomes’ team talk for Zamalek at the interval seemed to have resonated well with his players, as Zizo’s first-time pinpoint cross found Seifeddine Jaziri who maneuvered his way between two defenders before glancing his header in the net after 46 minutes.

Zamalek had halved the deficit to one, and smelt danger with a possible draw on the cards. Berkane, to their credit, withstood waves and attacking pressures from the Egyptians to go into the second leg of the final with one hand on the trophy.

With the trophy within touching distance for Rs. Berkane, the decisive second leg will be played on May 19, 2024, at the Cairo International Stadium in Egypt.

Story by: Andrews Sefa Bamfo|

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