Sundowns Ladies put up a gritty performance to secure a hard-fought 1-0 victory over TUT Ladies Football Club in the highly anticipated Tshwane Derby on Saturday. The reigning champions clinched the win with an early strike from Karabo Dhlamini in a closely contested Hollywoodbets Super League match.
The Brazilians began the game on the front foot, with Karabo Dhlamini scoring a well-placed goal just five minutes into the game. Despite some close attempts by Lelona Daweti and Boitumelo Rabale, the team was unable to score again before halftime.
After the restart, Coach Agnes Nkosi made several substitutions, bringing on Lebohang Ramalepe, Nonhlanhla Mthandi, Oratile Mokwena and Chantelle Esau for Lehlogonolo Mashigo, Lerato Kgasago, Melinda Kgadiete and Tiisetso Makhubela respectively.
Although the hosts pushed for an equalizer, Sedilame Bosija made several crucial saves, helping Sundowns Ladies to hold on to their hard-fought win. Karabo Dhlamini, whose goal made the difference, expressed her satisfaction with the outcome of the Derby victory.
“Although we faced a tough opponent who made it challenging for us, we’re satisfied with the result, especially since the Tshwane Derby is known for being a closely contested match. However, we understand the need to improve our finishing skills and will continue to work hard on that as we prepare for our next game,” Karabo said.
Regina Mogolola revealed her satisfaction with the narrow win, acknowledging the fact that TUT Ladies had been one of only two teams to defeat Sundowns Ladies in the previous season.
“Today’s victory is especially gratifying as we lost to this team last year. It proves that we’ve learned from our past mistakes and are committed to improving. We aim to build on this performance and carry the momentum into our upcoming fixtures. We will stay focused and continue to work hard in training to prepare for our next opponents,” stated Regina.
Despite the goals not flowing as expected, Melinda Kgadiete believes that the team is meeting the primary expectation, which is to win games.
“Although we missed some opportunities and made things difficult for ourselves at times, we were still able to achieve the desired results at both ends of the pitch. As defending champions, we understand the expectations that come with the title, and we’re not getting anxious. Our main focus is to secure three points in every match, and we’ve been able to do that consistently,” said Kgadiete.
The win ensured that Sundowns Ladies retained their leadership of the table with 19 points from seven games with six wins and one draw recorded. The Brazilians have also scored 13 goals and have conceded four times.
Regarding goal-scoring, Boitumelo Rabale is currently leading the Sundowns’ chart with four goals, followed by Lelona Daweti with three strikes. Andisiwe Mgcoyi and Melinda Kgadiete have each scored two goals.