Orlando Pirates 0-1 Al Ahli (2-1 agg): Bucs book Caf Confederation Cup final spot despite defeat
Ahmed El Tribi of Al Ahli Tripoli challenges Kwame Peprah of Orlando Pirates, May 2022
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The Buccaneers made history by becoming the first South African club to reach four continental finals

Orlando Pirates progressed to the Caf Confederation Cup final after defeating Al Ahli 2-1 on aggregate following their semi-final second-leg clash at Orlando Stadium on Sunday evening. 

Ali Arqoub scored the only goal of the match as Al Ahli secured a 1-0 win on the night, but the 12-time Libyan champions lost the tie on aggregate. Pirates became the first South African club to reach four continental finals having participated in the 2015 Confederation Cup, 1995 Caf Champions League and 2013 Champions League finals.

Unsurprisingly, Pirates co-coaches Mandla Ncikazi and Fadlu Davids named an unchanged team with the Soweto giants having secured a 2-0 win over Al Ahli in the first-leg match in Benghazi last weekend. The Buccaneers were undefeated in their 14 home matches in the Confederation Cup.

On the other hand, Al Ahli coach Fathi Al Jabal made several changes with Saleh Al Taher, Mohamed Mounir and Ali Maetouq being recalled to the starting line-up. The Leaders were undefeated in their last three away matches in Africa's secondary club tournament.

Although Pirates threatened first through Bandile Shandu who was denied by goalkeeper Muhammad Nashnoush from close range, Al Ahli looked more dangerous whenever they pushed forward and they kept the hosts' goalkeeper Richard Ofori very busy.

The visitors were able to find spaces on the edge of the Bucs box and test Ofori. The Ghana international produced four great diving saves to deny Mounir, Mohammed Abu Zurayq, Mahmoud Okashah as well as Mohammad El Fakih as the Leaders pushed for the opening goal.

Al Ahli were awarded a penalty after Happy Jele was adjudged to have handled one of the shots from visitors inside Bucs' box. However, the decision to award the Leaders a penalty was overturned after a Video Referee Review consultation. 

Ncikazi and Davids then made a tactical change - pulling out Abel Mabaso, who was operating as a right-back, and introducing attacking midfielder Siphesihle Ndlovu. However, the Leaders continues to launch attacks and Ofori made a great block to deny Muayid Jaddour to ensure that the first half ended goallessly. 

Pirates played much better after the restart with Thembinkosi Lorch and Kwame Peprah involved in most of the build-up play. Peprah fired the Buccaneers' first shot on target in the second half after combining with the troublesome Lorch and the Ghana under-23 international was denied by Nashnoush. 

Nashnoush was a busy man in the second half as he was forced to come out and gather Shandu's dangerous curling cross. Libya's finest keeper also pulled off a good save - blocking an attempt from Terrence Dzvukamanja, who had replaced Peprah.

Al Jabal then introduced Ali Arqoub with two minutes left on the clock and the 29-year-old attacker made an immediate impact as he beat Ofori with a deflected shot to hand the Leaders the lead. However, Pirates were then able to contain the visitors in the dying minutes of the game and ultimately, Al Ahli claimed a 1-0 win.

Despite the defeat, Pirates advanced to the final of the Confederation Cup for the second time after winning the tie 2-1 on aggregate and they will now face either DR Congo's TP Mazembe or RS Berkane of Morocco in the final in Nigeria on May 20.