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CAF Confederation Cup

Zamalek crowned 2019 CAF Confederation Cup champions after defeating RSB Berkane on penalties

Egypt's Zamalek players celebrate with the trophy after they won the CAF Confederation Cup final on penalties against RSB Berkane | AFP

Egyptian giants Zamalek were crowned CAF Confederation Cup champions after  defeating RS Berkane 5-3 on penalties on Sunday evening.

RSB Berkane came in to the second-leg encounter holding a 1-0 advantage from the first-leg and only needed to avoid defeat to claim the title.

Zamalek took time to settle and only started to threaten the goals of the Moroccan side towards the half-hour mark, however Issoufou Dayo almost broke the deadlock for the visitors ten minutes before the break with a header that sailed narrowly wide.

Mounir Jaouani’s charges showed great resilience in defence in the closing stages of the first stanza and kept the hosts at bay as the first stanza ended without goals.

Ten minutes after the break, the Egyptian giants were awarded a penalty with the help of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) after a handball in the area by Larbi Najji. Mahmoud Alaa stepped up to break the deadlock with a clinical finish to make to hand Zamalek the lead on the night and level up the tie.

Zamalek had  the momentum after finding the breakthrough and had attacking spells where they were threatening to find the second goal but the visitors were able to maintain their defensive shape to deny the hosts a second goal.

Zizo, who replaced Ibrahim Hassan for Zamalek , almost snatched the winner for the hosts ten minutes before time with a curling low strike from just outside the box that sailed the bottom corner slightly wide.

With the game getting stretched in the closing stages, tensions were rising and Berkane were reduced to ten men in the last minute of regulation time after Omar Namsaoui was received a red card for violent conduct after his out-stretched arm caught Kahraba in the face, with the incident reviewed by the referee on the VAR monitor.

However, the Moroccan outfit managed to hold on in stoppage time and the match went to penalty shoot-out, where Zamalek converted all five of their spot kicks to Berkane’s three as the Egyptians claim their first ever Confederation Cup title.

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