CAF Women’s Champions League

Sundowns Ladies eyeing perfect record in Champions League group phase

Sundowns Ladies eyeing perfect record in Champions League group phase
Nonhlanhla Mthandi of Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies challenged by Precious Mudyiwa of Black Rhinos during the 2021 Total Energies CAF Women's Champions League Cosafa Qualifier final match between Black Rhinos Queens and Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies at Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium, Durban, on 4 September 2021. (Photo: Samuel Shivambu / BackpagePix)

The reigning South African champions are one more win away from securing their place in the semifinals of the CAF Women’s Champions League with a perfect record.

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies are on the verge of finishing on top of their group and booking their place in the last four after two wins from their two games in Group B of the CAF Women’s Champions League currently being played in Cairo.

Out of the eight teams participating they are the only team yet to concede a goal, although they haven’t been their usual ruthless selves in front of goal so far. Banyana Ba Style have only found the net on two occasions.

“I am more than happy with the performance of the team. We have shown our overall organisation at the tournament thus far. We would have loved to score more goals, but our opponents showed their defensive robustness,” said player of the match in their 1-0 win over Nigeria’s Rivers Angels, Oratile Mokwena.

Nevertheless, despite those two slender 1-0 wins, they have registered the points needed to give themselves the best chance of reaching the last four. Come Friday afternoon, they will look to finish off the group phase on a high when they tackle Moroccan side Asfar.

The North Africans are on three points, level with Vihiga Queens. The Kenyans shocked Asfar 2-0 to revive their qualification hopes and give themselves a fighting chance when they face Rivers.

Should Asfar fall to Masandawana and Vihiga compound the misery of pre-tournament favourites Rivers by ensuring they finish without a single point in the inaugural continental showpiece, then it will be the Kenyans and the South Africans proceeding to the semis.

Although confident his side can secure the needed points to finish atop the group, Sundowns head coach Jerry Tshabalala is wary of the Moroccans and the threat they may pose for his well-drilled side.  

“I’ve seen Asfar more than once, it will be an open game as they like to play in a way similar to us. They will be very dangerous. Anything can happen in football, so we have to be cautious,” Tshabalala said.

“We are not the team that plays defensively, we will not sit back, we will attack. We have to keep possession as much as we can”.

Skipper of the reigning South African champions Zanele Nhlapho added that the team remains as confident as ever that they can play their way to history and win the first-ever edition of the Women’s Champions League on the continent.  

“We have a very good team and experience; mix these two and this will give you what you want. We left South Africa as champions and we want to leave Egypt as champions as well, this is our target. It’s Mamelodi Sundowns; we keep singing, we keep going, we keep working,” Nhlapho stated.

Kick-off for both matches in Group B is 4pm SA time. DM


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