Renaissance Berkane goalscorer Dayo praises team’s ‘winning spirit’

0
48

BY BBCAFRICA

Confederation Cup match-winner Issoufou Dayo says “small details and a winning spirit” made the difference after his goal gave Morocco’s Renaissance Berkane a 1-0 victory over Egyptians Pyramids on Sunday.

The Burkina Faso defender’s 15th-minute strike meant Berkane, runners-up to Zamalek in last year’s competition, were able to finally lay their hands on a first African title in Rabat.

“This title means a lot for us, for the supporters, and for this beautiful city of Berkane,” Dayo told BBC Sport Africa.

“Last year, we lacked the experience to be crowned champions against Egyptian giants Zamalek. This year we had one goal: to win the Confederation Cup.

“The final is always played on small details – concentration and the winning spirit made the difference.”

The Burkinabe was full of praise for Berkane’s squad after the club, which has never won the Moroccan title, lifted Africa’s equivalent of the Europa League.

“We made our dream come true thanks to our collective work, including the players, the technical and managerial staff,” said Dayo.

“We sacrificed everything. At some point, we were not even with our families but confined to our hotel.”

Dayo’s goal was scrappy in the extreme, as a shot deflected in off his legs, but he cares little about the quality of a strike that delivered Berkane’s greatest success.

“I was overwhelmed by emotions, feeling and joy – so much happiness. I think the whole team deserved it because we have fought for 14 months,” said Dayo in reference to a campaign that was delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year’s competition had been halted in May at the semi-final stage by the pandemic but resumed in a mini-tournament style with the semi-finals played on Monday and Tuesday followed by Sunday’s decider.

All the games took place in Morocco.

“The final wasn’t an easy game against a well-organised and strong Egyptian team. They were tremendous throughout the competition,” he explained.

Berkane will now contest the 2020-21 African Super Cup against the winner of the 2019-20 African Champions League.

Since Sunday night’s result, pressure has been mounting on Pyramids’ Croatian coach Ante Cacic whose future at the club has come under much speculation.

BBC Sport Africa understands he will remain in charge of the team for their league game later this week.