CAFCC: Zamalek Defeat RS Berkane on Penalties to Clinch Maiden Title

Ahmed Sayed ‘Zizo’ scored the deciding spot-kick as SC Zamalek triumphed 5-3 on penalties in the Confederation Cup final against RS Berkane to win the competition for the first time.

The Caire giants led 1-0 at the end of 90 minutes, courtesy of a Mahmoud Alaa penalty, to leave the two sides tied 1-1 on aggregate and requiring a shootout to decide the title.

Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba’s goal deep into second-half stoppage time at the Stade Municipal in Morocco last Sunday separated the North African sides heading into the reverse fixture at the Borg El Arab Stadium, as Berkane went in search of their first-ever continental silverware.

Sunday’s second leg began at a frenetic pace, and Hamdi Laachir missed a clear-cut chance in the sixth minute to send the Oranges 2-0 up on aggregate, before Zamalek’s Youssef Obama failed to hit the target less than two minutes later when played through on goal.

After a while, the energetic pace lessened as both sides eventually settled into the half, with the hosts dominating possession, but Mounir Jaouani’s side carried a greater threat on the counter-attack.

The opening 45 minutes petered out in the last quarter with the visitors’ incessant time-wasting antics slowing down the game. 

After a brighter start to the second-half, Christian Gross’s side got a huge lifeline in the 52nd minute after Ethiopian referee Bamlak Tessema Weyesa spotted a handball in the Berkane penalty area having consulted video replays.

Alaa expertly dispatched the spot-kick, sending Ali Mhamdi in the Berkane goal the wrong way, to put Zamalek 1-0 up on the night and level on aggregate. 

The White Knights pushed for the goal in the remainder of the game which was likely to see them win the final but were denied by Mhamdi, who saved well from Mahmoud Kahraba and Hamid Ahaddad.

There was to be another decision credited to video replays after Weyesa spotted an elbow by Omar Nemsaoui on Kahraba in the final minute of normal time and dismissed the right-back for violent conduct.

It ended 1-0 after 90 minutes (1-1 on aggregate) and penalties were to decide the final. 

Khalid Boutaïb, Alaa, Abdallah Gomaa, Obama and Zizo all scored for Zamalek, while Ismail Mokadem, Laba and Issoufou Dayo scored for Berkane. However, Laachir’s miss from the Oranges’ first spot-kick proved costly as they lost 5-3 on penalties.

It is the Egyptians’ first triumph in the Confederation Cup and the win ended their 16-year drought without a continental title.