Orlando Pirates rely on GHANAIAN magic to reach CAF Confederation Cup semis

Ghanaians Richard Ofori and Kwame Peprah played key roles as Orlando Pirates reached the CAF Confederation Cup semi-finals.

Orlando Pirates rely on GHANAIAN magic to reach CAF Confederation Cup semis
Ghanaians Richard Ofori and Kwame Peprah played key roles as Orlando Pirates reached the CAF Confederation Cup semi-finals. Photo: Twitter @orlandopirates

Ghanaians Richard Ofori and Kwame Peprah played key roles as Orlando Pirates reached the CAF Confederation Cup semi-finals on Sunday with a penalty shootout victory over Tanzanian visitors Simba SC.

Orlando Pirates won a stoppage-ridden quarter-final second leg 1-0 in Soweto thanks to a headed goal from forward Peprah, with TV replays shown belatedly suggesting he was offside. 

The only goal came just after Democratic Republic of Congo-born Simba SC forward Crispin Mugalu, who had been cautioned earlier, was shown a red card for a studs-up tackle.

Peprah tied an ill-tempered two-leg showdown at 1-1 on aggregate after Simba SC won the first encounter through a disputed Shomari Kapombe penalty in Dar es Salaam last Sunday.

ORLANDO PIRATES WON ON PENALTIES

Unlike Europe, where UEFA ties go to extra time first, Africa heads straight to penalties and Orlando Pirates won the shootout 4-3 with goalkeeper Ofori converting the kick that took the Buccaneers through.

Orlando Pirates will face Libya side Al Ahly Tripoli in the last four.

Ahly will have home advantage over the Buccaneers on 8 May with the return match on 15 May in Soweto.

No date or venue has been announced for the final.

The penalty shootout drama compensated the crowd at Orlando Stadium after a match constantly punctuated by long delays for injuries, mostly to Simba SC players.

Apart from the goal, there were several other controversial decisions with Orlando Pirates twice having genuine penalty appeals rejected by a referee from the Seychelles who struggled to keep control.

Namibian Deon Hotto, Malawian Frank Mhango, Tshegofatso Mabasa and Ofori converted shootout kicks for Orlando Pirates and Kapombe, captain Mohamed Hussein and Rwandan Meddie Kagere for Simba SC.

The other semi-final in the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League will pit TP Mazembe of DR Congo against 2020 Confederation Cup winners Renaissance Berkane of Morocco.

By Garrin Lambley © Agence France-Presse