Lessons have been learned from last year’s final – Salome Kekana and Zanele Nhlapho speak ahead of Green Buffaloes clash

After maintaining a perfect record in the group stage of this year’s CAF Women’s Champions League COSAFA zonal qualifier, Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies will strive to carry their strong momentum into the knockout stages.

As they prepare to face Zambia’s Green Buffaloes in the semi-finals on Wednesday, the Brazilians are determined to uphold the same mindset that led to their incredible group stage performance.

Both teams met in last year’s final, where the Zambians secured a surprising victory in a penalty shootout, winning 6-5 after neither team managed to score during regulation time.

Salome Kekana believes that lessons have been learned from that defeat. She states, “Obviously, it won’t be an easy game for us, but we will stick with what we have been doing at training and as you saw during the group stage. We learned a lot from last year’s final when we played against them, so I think this year will be a different gameplay. Of course, they will be looking to cause problems for us, but we are fully motivated this time around.”

With a remarkable tally of 16 goals scored and none conceded during the group stage, Kekana is confident that the team’s morale is high within the camp.

“I am extremely pleased with the team’s performance, which demonstrates our strong determination to achieve the goals we have collectively set. We are approaching each game with a focused mindset and taking things step by step. Not conceding holds significant importance for us, as it indicates our strong potential to score more goals and secure good results,” Salome concluded.

Zanele Nhlapho also shares the belief that the team possesses the capability to secure a favorable outcome against Green Buffaloes. She expressed, “The unfortunate result we endured against them last year serves as a driving force. We anticipate they might adopt a low defensive block, and we are well-prepared this time around because we have numerous attacking players who can unlock defenses. The earlier we score against them, the better it will be for us.”

Aside from last year’s final encounter, the two teams also faced off in the inaugural edition of the COSAFA zonal qualifiers, also during the semi-final stage. In that match, Banyana Ba Style secured a 1-0 victory over their opponents, with Melinda Kgadiete scoring the decisive goal just before the halftime break.

The clash between Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies and Green Buffaloes will take place on Wednesday, September 6th, at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Durban. The kick-off is scheduled for 15:30. The other semifinal will see Double Action Ladies face CD Costa do Sol in the early kickoff.

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