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CAFCC: Orlando Pirates hold on to advance to final despite home loss to Al Ahli Tripoli

Orlando Pirates are through to the 2021-22 CAF Confederation Cup final, defeating Libya’s Al Ahli Tripoli 2-1 on aggregate following a 1-0 home second leg defeat in Johannesburg on Sunday. Ali Abu Arqoub’s late goal gave the visitors from Libya hope but Al Ahli could not find the second goal necessary to level the aggregate score and the South African club returns to the CAFCC final where they fell at the final hurdle in 2015.

The hosts did not put in an inspiring effort and Al Ahli, determined to overcome a 2-0 home defeat in the first leg, pushed forward early in search of goals. Mohamed El Monir and Mohammad El Fakih each threatened Pirates goalkeeper Richard Ofori with long range shots in the opening five minutes but neither attempt was especially threatening to the Ghanaian shot stopper’s goal.

It appeared that Al Ahli had a moment of fortune to help them make their breakthrough in the 16th minute when a ball into the Pirates penalty area was misplayed by captain Happy Jele before it bounced up and hit his arm, leading to an initial penalty kick being awarded to the visitors. However, a Video Assistant Referee review judged that Jele’s handball was accidental and the call was overturned by referee Bakary Gassama. At the end of the first half Ahli came close again when a long range effort was spilled by Ofori in front of his goal but Saleh Al-Taher sent his rebound effort high and wide.

The second half lacked opportunities for both sides and even though Pirates lacked any sort of cutting edge in attack they managed to keep the Ahli attack at bay. Bucs striker Kwame Peprah had a chance in the opening minute of the second half but after being set up by Thembinkosi Lorch, the Ghanaian fired his low shot into the side netting.

Ahli finally found their breakthrough late on in the 89th minute when a cross from the left flank was cleared out to Arqoub, who unleashed a shot from 23 yards out that took a deflection on its way into the net as Ofori could only watch. However, it was too little too late and Pirates continued their CAFCC run by confirming a spot in the final that will take place in Nigeria.

Highlights from Johannesburg are below.


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