Moroccan side RS Berkane won their first CAF Confederations Cup title as they beat Egyptian side Pyramids FC at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Complex in Rabat, Morocco on Sunday.
Burkina Faso defender Issoufou Dayo’s goal in the 15th minute, his fourth for the club this season and second in the competition fired the Oranges to glory.
A minute’s silence was held for the victims of the coronavirus and in appreciation of the frontline workers who have done their best to help control the difficult health situation concerned with the pandemic which has affected over 1.7 million people and caused over 40,000 deaths in Africa.
The game was also played behind closed doors as a health precaution due to COVID-19.
To reach this stage, Berkane had eliminated another Moroccan side Hassania Agadir in the semi-finals 2-1.
On the other hand, Pyramids, the tournament’s top scorers with 31 goals had inflicted a first defeat of the season to Guinea club Horoya (1-0) in the semi-final to reach their first final.
Pyramids home to Ugandan winger Abdu Lumala were playing in their debut season in the competition and were looking to become the second debutant after Raja in 2018 to win the competition.
Lumala sat out the final as he is still recovering from a knee injury for which he undergone surgery in June.
Berkane playing in their fourth campaign in the competition reaching the quarter finals and finals in 2018 and 2019.
Berkane playing at home almost went ahead inside a minute Mouhsinne Iajour’s header went just wide off Namsaoui’s cross. The 35-year-old forward again came close but his shot was well saved by Pyramids keeper Mahdi Soliman.
Berkane took the lead with their second shot on target after Dayo turned in Omar Nemassaoui’s freekick after a goalmouth scramble in the 15th-minute.
Pyramids grew out of their early nerves and following a period of sustained possession, they produced their first shot at goal in the 24th minute.
Omar Gaber’s deep cross picked up Mohamed Farouk inside the box but the forward put his header wide of the target.
Farouk came close moments later beating his marker but his eventual shot once again failed to trouble the keeper.
While Pyramids continued to have a stronger grip on the game, the Moroccans remained resolute in defence and limited the Egyptians to just a single shot on target throughout the game.
Berkane were reduced to 10-men after Bakr El Helali saw red three minutes to the final whistle for a nasty challenge.
The victory means that Berkane joins FAR Rabat (2005), FUS Rabat (2010), Maghreb Fès (2011) and Raja Casablanca (2018) in a select group of Moroccan clubs who have won the tournament since its inception in 2004.
Berkane were Confederations Cup runners up in 2019 after losing to Zamalek FC 5-3 on penalties after 1-1 aggregate draw in the final that was played over two legs.