Coach Jerry Tshabalala reacts to CAF Women’s Champions League COSAFA Qualifiers Opponents

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies have been placed in Group B of this season’s CAF Women’s Champions League COSAFA Qualifiers.

The Brazilians will face Olympic de Moroni from Comoros, the Mozambican side Costa do Sol and Young Buffaloes from Eswatini.

Banyana Ba Style faced Costa do Sol in last year’s pool stages and emerged as 8-1 winners, thanks to superb braces from Melinda Kgadiete and Andisiwe Mgcoyi, along with strikes from Zanele Nhlapho, Miche Minnies and Salome Kekana.

Meanwhile, Olympic de Moroni is making a return for a second year, having reached the semi-finals in 2022. However, they ultimately finished fourth after losing 3–0 to Double Actions Ladies in the third-place game last year.

Young Buffaloes were also participants in the tournament last year, but they suffered defeats in both their games against Green Buffaloes and Olympic de Moroni during the pool stage.

In his reaction to the draws, Coach Jerry Tshabalala believes that no team can be taken for granted this year.

“It is a tricky draw for us. Although we have some previous experience against some of the teams, we know that women’s football on the continent is improving. Many of these teams are not what they were last year because they have beefed up certain key areas of their setups. So, we have to be at the top of our game to avoid any surprises,” Coach Jerry said.

Group A will feature defending champions Buffaloes facing off against Botswana’s Double Action Ladies, Lesotho Defence Force and debutantes Ntopwa FC from Malawi.

Zambia’s Green Buffaloes currently hold the regional championship title, secured through a surprising 6-5 penalty shootout victory over Banyana Ba Style in Durban last year, after a 0-0 scoreline in regulation time.

Coach Tshabalala believes that lessons have been learned from that defeat, “That final took us by surprise in terms of their approach to the game. They frustrated us on several occasions, but we have worked on certain observations from that game. We did learn the hard way and we have used the lessons from last year’s final to refine our game. We are working very hard to become unpredictable to teams because we understand that adaptability and innovation are key in competitions such as these”, the Sundowns coach concluded.

The regional competition is scheduled to be held in Durban from August 30th to September 8th. Morocco’s AS FAR currently holds the title of the CAF Women’s Champions League, having dethroned the inaugural winners Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies in Rabat last year.

This year’s CAF Women’s Champions League is scheduled to be held in the Ivory Coast from 5 to 19 November.

Summary of the Groups for the CAF Women’s Champions League COSAFA Qualifiers

Group A

Green Buffaloes (Zambia)

Double Action Ladies (Botswana)

Lesotho Defence Force (Lesotho)

Ntopwa FC (Malawi)

Group B

Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa)

Olympic De Moroni (Comoros)

Costa Do Sol (Mozambique)

Young Buffaloes (Eswatini)

 

 

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