'You came so close to bringing it home': Mthethwa salutes Pirates after CAF Confederations loss

23 May 2022 - 14:13
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Sport, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa.
Image: Veli Nhlapo/ File photo Sport, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa.

Sport, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa has paid tribute to Orlando Pirates after they lost in the Caf Confederation Cup finals.

The Buccaneers fell at the final hurdle as they lost 5-4 on penalties to Moroccan side RS Berkane in the final at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, Nigeria.

Thembinkosi Lorch was the only Pirates player to miss in the shoot-out.

Taking to Twitter, Mthethwa said despite the loss, the team made SA proud.

“We salute Orlando Pirates for making it to the finals of the Caf Confederation Cup and coming so close to bringing the trophy home. You made us proud and you have demonstrated the competitiveness of SA football clubs that continue to excel in Caf tournaments.”

This was the Buccaneers' third time unlucky in Caf finals after falling short in the 2013 Champions League and the Confed Cup two years later.

“The penalties were a dramatic affair, as Berkane did not err from the spot, while Happy Jele, Tshegofatsho Mabasa, Thabang Monare and Richard Ofori all converted their spot-kicks, with Lorch the only player to be denied,” said Orlando Pirates.

“This meant the Moroccan outfit would prevail in the end, claiming their second Confed Cup title, while the Buccaneers were left to rue missed opportunities as they lost their second final in the competition in the space of a decade.”

On social media, many fans said the team still had what it takes to win their remaining games in the PSL to have a chance of playing in the Caf competitions next season.

Here is a snapshot of some of the reactions: