Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies defeated Sporting Club Casablanca 1-0 in their second Group A match at Stade Amadou Gon Coulibaly on Wednesday evening to reach the semi-finals of the CAF Women’s Champions League for the third straight year.
Melinda Kgadiete’s superb header, three minutes before half-time, was enough to secure qualification to the knockout phase with a match to spare.
The result also handed the Brazilians their tenth clean sheet in 12 matches since the start of the continent’s premier women’s tournament, which is an outstanding record.
Coach Jerry Tshabalala expressed his delight with his team after maintaining their perfect start to the competition.
“We are very happy with the way we have begun the tournament and our performances have been impressive despite the tough nature of the games we have played. The plan is to focus more on improving ourselves because we know why we are here. We desire to get the ultimate prize and everyone within the team is determined to achieve that objective,” Coach Jerry stated.
With qualification to the last four all but secured, Coach Jerry believes the game against Athletico Abidjan in the third and final group game must be taken seriously.
“We have seen how Athlético plays and we can say they are a very strong and physical side, even though they lost against JKT Queens. They are early starters, as they love to score the first goals in games and that is something we will be looking forward to preventing. We are going to treat the game against them with all seriousness. They are the host side and they need a win at all costs, so we are not going to take the game lightly in any way,” the Downs Ladies coach added.
Nonhlanhla Mthandi, who delivered a tenacious performance all around, praised the mentality of her team.
“The game was far from easy because they employed a very low block and that made things a bit difficult. We created a lot of chances and we are pleased with the goal we scored. Overall, I am happy with the way we defended and we are all determined to finish the group stage on a positive note,” Mthandi said.
Boitumelo Rabale also expressed her relief with the team’s winning performance against their defensive-minded opponents.
“The game was cagey at times because we felt they were more focused on not conceding goals rather than scoring. But despite the contrasting styles of tactics, we did very well in ensuring the victory. We are happy to be in the semifinals and we are ready for the next game,” stated Rabale.
In the other Group A match played earlier, JKT Queens registered a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over hosts Athletico Abidjan. That result means Banyana Ba Style has 6 points in Group A, while JKT Queens has three points. Athletico Abidjan and Sporting Casablanca have just one point apiece.
Sundowns Ladies will face Athletico Abidjan in their final group game on Saturday night, November 11th, at the Stade Amadou Gon Coulibaly in Korhogo. Kick-off is set for 22:00 CAT.