CAFCC

Orlando Pirates survive last-minute scare against Al Ahli Tripoli to reach Confederations Cup final

Orlando Pirates will play in the CAF Confederations Cup final for the second time after losing the 2015 final to Etoile du Sahel

Orlando Pirates are through to the CAF Confederations Cup final after skipping past Al Ahli Tripoli (IMAGO/Ulmer)

South African giants Orlando Pirates progressed to the final of the CAF Confederations Cup with a slender 2-1 aggregate over Libya's Al Ahli Tripoli on Sunday.

The Soweto-based side came into the tie with a healthy 2-0 advantage from the first leg but they failed to utilise their second leg home advantage at the Orlando Stadium as they lost 1-0.

Orlando Pirates will be aiming for their first-ever CAF Confederations Cup when they line out again Morocco's RS Berkane in the final to be held at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Nigeria.

The Pirates went into the second leg full of confidence after an encouraging first leg away at the Martyrs of February Stadium in Benghazi last weekend.

Despite ceding most of the possession to the visitors, Orlando Pirates largely confined Al Ahli Tripoli to the middle of the pitch in the first half, with only three (3) of the visitors' ten (10) first-half shots taken from inside the Pirates' penalty box.

There was a bit of concern when Al Ahli Tripoli were awarded a penalty in the 18th minute but the VAR was on hand to overturn the decision.

A raft of eight changes from both sides in the second half punctuated the flow of the game with the hosts eager to see off the game with their aggregate lead intact.

In a last test of resolve, Ali Bouargoub scored for Al Ahli Tripoli in the 89th minute to set up a tense final few minutes amongst the home fans at the Orlando Stadium.

However, Orlando Pirates held on to see out the result and picked up a 2-1 aggregate victory to take them to the final.

Aided by Super Eagles' Olisa Ndah, the South African side will be playing in the Confederations Cup final for the first time since 2015.

Having seen off Egyptian giants Al Ahly 5-3 on aggregate in the semifinals of the 2015 CAF Confederations Cup, Orlando Pirates faced Tunisia's Etoile du Sahel in the final.

The two-legged final then saw Orlando Pirates play a one-all draw in the first leg at the Orlando Stadium before losing 1-0 away at the Stade Olympique de Sousse to lose the title 2-1 on aggregate.

Since then, Orlando Pirates have played on the continent only thrice, crashing out at the Group Stage and Preliminary Round of the CAF Champions League in 2018/19 and 2019/20 respectively.

In their return to the CAF Confederations Cup for the 2020/21 season, they reached the quarterfinals only to lose 5-1 on aggregate to Raja Casablanca.

Orlando Pirates will play RS Berkane in the final of the 2021/22 CAF Champions League final after the Moroccan side pulled off an incredible comeback to defeat TP Mazembe 4-2 on aggregate in the second semifinal tie.

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