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CAF Confederation Cup

Morocco’s Berkane complete semi-final line-up after winning five-goal thriller

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Moroccan side Renaissance Berkane secured their place in the semi-finals of the  CAF Confederation Cup after winning the second-half five-goal thriller by defeating Libya’s Abu Salim 3-2 on Sunday.


The 2020 and 2022 title winners showcased their resilience in the second-leg game in a thrilling match that saw a total of five goals scored in a single half and also saw two players sent off.


Berkane player Omar El Arjoun and Hossam El Abani of Abu Salim were given their marching orders in stoppage time as both sides fought for victory.


This win for Berkane came after the first leg of the quarter-final match ended in a goalless draw in Benghazi.


Burkina Faso international, Asofu Dayo, was the hero as he scored the third goal for Berkane deep into stoppage time that sparked wild jubilation for the home side.

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This means Berkane advance 3-2 aggregate and will face off against the reigning champions, USM Alger, in what promises to be a highly anticipated clash.


The first half remained goalless despite attempts from both sides, with the home team facing strong resistance from the Libyan defence, which thwarted all attempts by the Tunisian coach Mouin Chaabani’s squad.


Abu Salim entered the second half with vigour, surprising the Moroccans with an early goal in the 47th minute by Hossam El Abani.

However, Senegalese player Boubacar Fall responded for Berkane in the 68th minute.


Moroccan defender Adil Tahif added the second goal for Berkane in the 72nd minute, bringing the score to 2-1 in favor of the Moroccans against the Libyans.

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Refusing to surrender, Abu Salim players managed to equalise in the 83rd minute through Abd El Moumen El Ayan, intensifying the match.


Youssef El Fahli scored the third goal for Renaissance Berkane in the 90+10th minute, but the goal was disallowed upon review by VAR.


The efforts of Berkane players paid off with a third goal in the 90+15th minute, sealing their qualification to the semi-finals of the competition.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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CAF Confederation Cup

Shehu Dikko, Okey Obi get important roles at Confederation Cup final match

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The duo of Shehu Dikko and Okey Sylvanus Sylvanus Obi, both Nigerians have been appointed as Match Commissioner and Security Officer in Sunday’s final match of the CAF Confederation Cup in Cairo.

Dikko, the former chieftain of the governing body of the Nigeria Premier League is already in Cairo for the final match which pitches Zamalek SC against visiting Morocco’s RS Berkane.

Also already is Okey Obi is in Cairo. He is also the chief legal officer at the Nigeria Football Federation.  

The referee of the match is Issa SY. He handled the quarter-final match of Nigeria and  Angola in the Africa Cup of Nations last February. He will be assisted by compatriots, Djibril Camara and Nouha Bangoura. The fourth official is  Omar Abdulkadir Artan of Somalia.

  The Referee Assessor is Victor Miguel de Freitas Gomes of South Africa while  Joshua Robert Knipp, also of South Africa, is the General Coordinator for the match.

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The Video Assistant Referee is Pierre Ghislain Atcho of Gabon. Aliou Goloko of Senegal the initially designated Media Officer who was reportedly unavailable, has been replaced by Egypt’s Mohamed Elsesy.

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CAF Champions League

BREAKING: CAF adopts Yoruba name, “Ola” for official match ball!

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Confederation of African Football, CAF, has adopted a Nigerian language name of its official match ball for the interclubs competitions. Ahead of this weekend’s blockbuster line-up that sees Africa’s top clubs battle for  CAF Confederation Cup and CAF Champions League top honours, the confederation and its matchball producers, PUMA have unveiled a new match ball called “OLA.”

 In a press statement, CAF explains that “OLA,” means “wealth,” “honour,” and “respect” in Yoruba, and “rise” and “success” in Arabic. It explained that the name was chosen to symbolize the dynamic and energetic nature of African football.

Embodying the spirit of Africa, Ola’s design is inspired by the continent’s vibrant colours, art, and traditions.

OLA will be used this weekend – starting in Tunis when Espérance Sportive de Tunis hosts Al Ahly of Egypt in the first leg of the  CAF Champions League Final and on Sunday when Zamalek hosts RS Berkane in the second leg of the  CAF Confederation Cup final at the Cairo International Stadium. 

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CAF Confederation Cup

Final, second-leg: Zamalek v RS Berkane: Facts & Figures

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Zamalek will host Moroccan side RS Berkane in the second-leg of the final of  CAF Confederation Cup in Cairo on Sunday.

The stakes are high as both teams vie for the title, with the Egyptian seeking to capitalize on their home advantage to overturn the 2-1 first leg deficit against RS Berkane.

RS Berkane will be eager to secure the result that would hand them the title ahead of Zamalek even though the Egyptian giants aim to assert themselves.

CAFOnline.com takes a look at some interesting facts and figures ahead of the second-leg clash:

Zamalek could become the first side to win the CAF Confederation Cup despite losing the first leg of the final since themselves in 2019 against RS Berkane (0-1, 1-0 then 5-3 after the penalty shootout).

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With their win over Zamalek in the first leg, RS Berkane are now the last unbeaten side in the CAF Confederation Cup this season (W8 D3, including two awarded wins in the semi-finals).


Zamalek have never lost a home game in the CAF Confederation Cup (W11 D4), but they drew the most recent two (1-1 v Modern Future and 0-0 v Dreams in the knockout phase this season).


RS Berkane scored their fifth and sixth goals following a set piece in the CAF Confederation Cup this season during the first leg, equalling Zamalek as the side with the most goals from dead ball situations.


Zamalek have the highest possession rate on average in the 2023-24 CAF Confederation Cup (63%), that’s at least six percentage points more than any other side.


Adil Tahif (RS Berkane) and Seifeddine Jaziri (Zamalek) have both scored their second headed goal in the 2023-24 CAF Confederation Cup during the first leg of the final, only Paul Valère Bassène (RS Berkane) has done as well.

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Zizo (Zamalek) provided his fifth assist in the 2023-24 CAF Confederation Cup, no player has given more assists over a single edition since Opta began detailed data collection (2016-17).


Nabil Emad (Zamalek) has completed 409 passes in the CAF Confederation Cup in 2024, at least 114 more than any other player. 74 of those were in the first leg of the final while no other player completed at least 50 passes in that game.

-CAF

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