Winning wasn’t easy at all, says RS Berkane coach
Jean-Florent Ibenge, coach of RS Berkane of Morocco, says it was not an easy task beating the Orlando Pirates of South Africa in the CAF Confederation Cup on Friday in Uyo.
Ibenge, who said he was delighted to win the trophy for Morocco, told journalists on Saturday in Uyo that Orlando Pirates were an excellent side.
“Orlando Pirates were a very good team today (Friday). They have good players, and they controlled the game, especially in the first half,” he said of the South African side, which dominated the match but could not score more than a goal.
Ibenge, who coached the DR Congo national team from 2014 to 2019, however, said his team were able to change the momentum in the second half to stretch the game.
“We had the spirit to win, and our players are also young, more combative to enable us to win.”
The 60-year-old former centre-back said his team were further helped by the fact that they were ambitious and played with confidence.
Speaking also to journalists, the coach of Orlando Pirates, Mandla Ncikazi, said it was heart-wrenching to lose the match after his team played well and dominated the game.
Ncikazi said Orlando Pirates should have won the match in the first half but lost so many goalscoring chances, adding that he felt disappointed.
“Honestly, I feel disappointed because we have disappointed friends at home, football fans in Nigeria and Ghana. However, it is a disappointment, even though it was not a bad game.
“As a coach, I take the blame for the team not winning because it is a responsibility of the coach to take the team to victory.
“We must improve because we now know our deficiencies and weaknesses more to win subsequent matches,” he said.
Orlando Pirates sought a second success in African football, having won the African Champions League in 1995.
But it was RS Berkane, who were Confederation Cup champions in 2019/2020, won the title.
It was a second title win for them in three consecutive appearances in the final since 2020.