-0.4 C
New York
Thursday, December 7, 2023

CAFCC: RS Berkane do just enough to secure semifinal berth with 1-0 home win over Al Masry

Morocco’s RS Berkane secured a 1-0 victory in the second leg at home on Sunday to clinch advancement to the semifinals of the CAF Confederation Cup, advancing past Egyptian club Al Masry via the away goals rule after drawing 2-2 on aggregate. Youssef El Fahli converted a 7th minute penalty kick and the Orange Boys held off a courageous charge from Masry in front of their home crowd, setting up a semifinal clash against DR Congo’s TP Mazembe.

Berkane did what they needed to in the opening ten minutes with a quick start. A bouncing ball in the Masry penalty area fell to Congolese forward Chadrack Lukombé, who struck an effort from eight yards out that caught the trailing arm of Masry center back Yasser Hamed as he attempted to block the shot. After a few minutes of review from the Video Assistant Referee, a penalty kick was awarded and El Fahli struck an excellent spot kick to beat goalkeeper Ahmed Massoud.

Just before ten minutes were up, the hosts nearly doubled their lead when a cross from El Fahli picked out Hamza Regragui, whose volley went just wide. Another opportunity came in the 18th minute when RSB left back Hamza El Moussaoui did excellently on to find room on the flank and cross for forward Charki El Bahri, who sent his header off the post for a narrow Masry escape.

El Bahri should have gotten RSB’s second in the 35th minute when he got free from ten yards out and drove a low shot towards Massoud’s far post. The ball appeared to be on its way in but Lukombé touched the ball over the bar from less than six yards out. Masry found their first real chance just before the break when Mohamed Abdelaal past RSB center back Ismail Mokadem before flashing his shot across the goal mouth and wide.

Masry did well to stay in the tie after halftime but neither team was able to put a shot on target in the second half. The closest either team came was early on in the 53rd minute when Najji Larbi’s excellent cross found Regragui, who steered his header just wide of the Masry goal. In the end the hosts’ defense held out well and El Fahli’s early spot kick was just enough for Berkane to clinch advancement. The match ended on an ugly note when Masry players confronted the referee with a member of the Egyptian club’s staff landing a punch to the face of Sadok Selmi.

Highlights from Berkane are below.