Another Super Eagles player suffers Cup final heartbreak

Lorch was the hero in extra-time but it was a different story in the shoot-out

Another Super Eagles player suffers Cup final heartbreak
Olisa Ndah Orlando Pirates

The joy of seeing Nigerian players in Cup finals with their respective clubs is gradually turning to heartbreaks.

Barley 48 hours after seeing the trio of Joe Aribo, Calvin Bassey and Leon Balogun lose with Rangers in the the Europa League, another Nigerian, Olisa Ndah has lost in similar circumstances in  the African version, the CAF Confederation Cup.

Ndah and his Orlando Pirates teammates who were heavily backed by the home crowd for obvious reasons were beaten 5-4 on penalties by Moroccan side Berkane.

After a barren first half, the Buccaneers were on the front foot coming after the break, as Hoto had another big chance to break the deadlock within three minutes after going through in the six-yard box but his strike produced a reflex save from Hamiani.

It was one-way traffic in the second half. Thembinkosi Lorch had an opportunity to give them the lead on the hour-mark after Hamiani was caught out of his area but he dragged his shot on the path of the Moroccan shot-stopper.

The Orange Boys had a sense of urgency in the latter stages, as the game opened up and there for the taking but the sides lacked the finishing touches in the last third.

Larbi Naji almost conceded an own goal for Berkane in the dying minutes with a clearance that missed the bottom corner by inches while Olisa Ndah snuffed out a dangerous attack by the Moroccan outfit, which sent the the sides to extra-time.

Pirates made a double change at the beginning of extra-time as Thabang Monare and Siphesihle Ndlovu both replaced Ben Motshwari and Shandu for fresh legs.

However, Berkane were awarded a penalty in the fourth minute of extra-time after the referee spotted a foul by Monare on Ismail Makadem in the box on the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) monitor, which allowed El Fahli to convert from 12 yards out.

The Buccaneers had a sense of urgency in the dying minutes of extra-time and they finally levelled matters in the last three minutes after a stray pass by Lorch evaded the Berkane defence and trickled into the bottom corner to send the game to penalties.

While Lorch was the hero in extra-time, it was a different story in the shoot-out as the Orange Boys won 5-4 on penalties after Lorch's spot-kick was saved by Hamiani while Brahim El Bahraoui scored the decisive penalty for Berkane, who were crowned champions for the second time.