The Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenberg played host to an exhilarating CAF Confederation Cup quarterfinal second leg clash that saw hosts Marumo Gallants come out on top by a 1-0 score over Egypt’s Pyramids FC on Sunday. The South African club’s win clinched a 2-1 aggregate victory that sees them advance to the semifinals at the expense of big spending Pyramids who could not find a way past the Gallants defense and goalkeeper Washington Arubi. Gallants will now face Tanzania’s Young Africans where they will look to continue a magical run that few saw coming.
Pyramids were certainly motivated to push numbers forward considering their need for goals but the hosts refused to sit on their lead, setting up an entertaining clash with plenty of end-to-end action. The Egyptian club made plenty of attacking forays but service in the final third was poor and Gallants took advantage of a defensive mistake to open the scoring in the 39th minute. A clearance attempt from veteran Pyramids defender Ahmed Fathi rebounded off the back of a teammate and fell right to Gallants midfielder Celimpilo Ngema in the penalty area who fired his shot past goalkeeper Ahmed El Shenawy.
Gallants were more content to sit back in a defensive posture as the match wore on and Pyramids kept the South African club pinned in their own end for long stretches. Pyramids playmaker Ramadan Sobhi set up an excellent chance for striker Fagrie Lakay in the 54th minute but the former Cape Town City marksman turned and fired wide from eight yards out.
Lakay had another good look in the 72nd minute when a Gallants clearance popped into the air but the South African’s volley was too close to Arubi who parried the ball away without much trouble. A furious charge from Pyramids in the final twenty minutes was thwarted by poor service and stubborn defending before the full time whistle arrived to great celebration from the DStv Premiership side and their supporters.
Video of Ngema’s goal and the final whistle is below.