Boitumelo Rabale inspires Sundowns Ladies to gritty win

Boitumelo Rabale continued her electric start to the season by scoring the winning goal as Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies edged out the University of Pretoria 1-0 at the Groenkloof Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The reigning Player of the Season delivered the killer blow midway through the second half, handing Banyana Ba Style all three points and maintaining their unbeaten start to the Hollywoodbets Super League season.

The game began at a frantic pace, with both teams looking to stamp their authority early on. The newly promoted side almost grabbed the lead as early as the 7th minute, but their attempt was denied by the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Sedilame Boseja. The tightly contested fixture ebbed and flowed, and neither side could find a breakthrough at halftime.

After the restart, Karabo Dhlamini was subbed for Chuene Morifi to bring more wing presence to the team. Boseja was called into action again as the visitors pressed for the opening goal.

However, Sundowns Ladies eventually broke the deadlock thanks to a well-taken penalty from Rabale, who calmly slotted home her third goal of the season. Lebohang Ramalepe (new signing) and Chantelle Esau were introduced late on for Nonhlanhla Mthandi and Lehlogonolo Mashigo as the defending champions held on to seal their fifth win in six games.

Rabale who scored the match-winning goal was full of praise for her side, “Once again, we faced a determined and tactically sound opponent who was looking to stop our winning streak. Despite the challenge, we remained focused and managed to score an important goal at a critical moment. Although we created several chances, we weren’t able to convert them into more goals. Nevertheless, we’re pleased to have earned another three points and maintained our momentum in the league.”

After the game, Bambanani Mbane expressed her delight at helping her team secure a clean sheet, “We’re thrilled to have earned all three points today, especially because our opponents put up a strong fight. I’m particularly pleased with our defense as we maintained our composure and prevented our opponents from scoring. It was a great team effort, and we’re proud of our performance. As we move forward, we’re taking the season one game at a time and focusing on the next challenge.”

Chantelle Esau, who came off the bench to make her first appearance of the season, spoke about what it meant for her to be back on the pitch, “After missing the last few weeks due to injury, I’m delighted to be back with the team. Although the first half was cagey, we regrouped during the break and came out stronger in the second half. I am proud of our team’s resilience and I’m pleased that we were able to secure the win. I’m looking forward to continuing to work hard with the team and contributing to our success in the upcoming matches.”

The win ensured that Sundowns Ladies retained their leadership of the table with 16 points from 6 games with five wins and one draw recorded. 

Up next for Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies is the highly anticipated Tshwane Derby against TUT Ladies Football Club