Ncikazi: I take the blame

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  • Post published:May 23, 2022

Orlando Pirates co-coach Mandla Ncikazi says he takes full responsibility for the Buccaneers’ defeat by RS Berkane in the Caf Confederation Cup final on Friday evening.

Pirates narrowly missed out on continental glory after they suffered a heartbreaking 5-4 defeat on penalties by RS Berkane following a 1-1 draw in the final at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Nigeria.

Report: Wasteful Pirates suffer shoot-out defeat in Caf Confed Cup

Youssef El Fahli opened the scoring in the 97th minute from a penalty awarded after the referee reviewed a foul on the VAR monitor, but Pirates levelled matters in the 117th minute through Thembinkosi Lorch to send the game into a penalty shootout.

Highlights: Berkane sink Pirates on penalties

However, Berkane managed to score all five penalties in the shootout after substitute Brahim el Bahraoui scored the decisive penalty to fire his team to glory over the Buccaneers.

“You can point in every direction when you enter the door … your responsibility as a coach is to make the team win, no matter how many excuses you can put in front, but it is still your responsibility,” Ncikazi said at his post-match media conference.

“I take the blame, I am the one who is not helping the team to win matches. Until that changes, then it is our responsibility as a coach, so there is no other excuse.

“Currently, the team is not scoring, and it is the coach’s responsibility. We lost the final, a match that we shouldn’t have lost. It’s a match that we should have won in normal time, the story of our season.

“We create so many chances, dominated the match, but we just don’t do what’s most important, putting the ball in the net.”