Orlando Pirates produced a stunning comeback from 2-0 down to beat Al Ahly 4-3 (5-3 on aggregate) in the second leg semi-final played at the Suez Stadium in Egypt to reach the CAF Confederation Cup final.
Pirates fans would have feared the worst when Al-Ahly’s Gabonese striker Malick Evouna scored on either side of halftime to make it 2-0.
But Goals from substitute Kermit Erasmus, Thamsanqa Gabuza, Thabo Matlaba and Thabo Rakhale completed a brilliant come from behind win for the sea robbers.
Evouna opens the scoring for Al-Ahly just two minutes before the break after a sustained pressure by the home team. Evouna missed a great opportunity to increase the lead but made amends when he headed Al-ahly into the 2-0 lead eight minutes into the second half.
The second goal prompted Eric Tinkler to make changes, bringing in Erasmus and Rakhale for Lehlohonolo Majoro and Sifiso Myeni.
The two substitutes made an immediate impact. When Al-Ahly defence failed to effectively clear Rakhale’s cross, Erasmus was on hand to pull a goal back with a curling effort just a minute after coming on.
Then, in the 75th minute, Gabuza levelled matters with a strike that deflected off a defender to beat Sherif Ekramy.
Matlaba scored in the 86th minute to put Pirates in the lead for the first time in the match.
Substitute, Amr Gamal levelled matters in injury time before Rakhale made it 4-3 on the stroke of fulltime.
Pirates will now meet Étoile Sportive du Sahel of Tunisia in the two-legged final in November. The Tunisian club beat Zamalek 5-4 on aggregate to reach the final.
Orlando Pirates team: Ovono, Matlaba, Jele, Mahamutsa, Gcaba, Masalesa, Ntshumayelo (Sarr 71’), Makola, Myeni (Rakhale 56’), Majoro (Erasmus 55’), Gabuza.