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CAF Confederations Cup

Berkane coach Ibenge eyes Confederation Cup title

RS Berkane coach Florent Ibenge says they are capable of winning the 2022 TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup title even though their opponents in tonight’s final Orlando Pirates will no be no pushovers.

The Morrocan side have been preparing to take on the South African club in a one-off final to be played in the Nigerian city of Uyo on Friday night.

The two sides have thrilled football fans since the start of the competition culminating in the final that kicks off at 19h00 GMT at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium.

Ibenge, who is a former national team coach of DR Congo, says his focus is to help his players regain their strength after a gruelling semi-final clash with TP Mazembe a few days ago.

Berkane defeated the DR Congo side 4-2 on aggregate to reach the final and their coach admitted that a difficult match awaits after monitoring the style of play of Orlando Pirates.

“The preparations (for the match) were only to restore physical strength, after the TP Mazembe match,” Ibenge said at the pre-match press conference in Uyo on Thursday.

“We did well to read the game against TP Mazembe, and we avoided rushing and tried to tire the opponent’s players, and this paid off.

“For this match we have reviewed tapes of the Orlando Pirates team in order to study the strengths and weaknesses of the South African team.

RS Berkane team picture during the CAF Confederation Cup 202122 Semifinal 2nd Leg match between RSB Berkane and TP Mazembe held at the Municipal de Berkane Stadium in Berkane, Morocco on 15 May 2022

“We hope that the stadium will be filled with local fans to give us strength and encourage us to play more.”

When asked about the strength of Moroccan clubs in continental club competitions, Ibenge praised the standard of the local league in the north African country, insisting it helps clubs to excel when they play in Africa.

“The league competition is strong in Morocco, especially for the third place that qualifies for the Confederation Cup. But we seek to win the league trophy so that we do not enter into the strong fight for the third place in the league,” he revealed.

“Morocco is a good training center for coaches, and with regard to the vast academies in the country, they are important for discovering new players and even in the other aspects of the game, so we can find best sports doctors or competencies in other fields from them.”

Berkane player Sofiane Elmodane said the players are aware that playing against Orlando Pirates will not be easy but they are focused on winning the title.

“I am proud and eager to play in the final. It is not over, and we must crown our efforts by winning the African title,” Elmodane concluded.

Credit: CAF Online

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