Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies are gearing up to face Zambia’s Green Buffaloes in the final of the 2022 TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League | COSAFA Qualifier at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Saturday.
En route to the final, The Brazilians defeated Mozambique’s Costa do Sol 8-1 and were held to a 1-1 draw by a resolute Double Action Ladies from Botswana in their second fixture. Thus, the defending champions finished as Group A winners with four points and a goal difference of +7.
Meanwhile, Green Buffaloes opened the tournament with a 4-0 win over Eswatini’s Young Buffaloes before replicating the same score line over Olympique de Moroni of Comoros. Remarkably, the Zambians are the only team yet to concede a goal in this year’s competition, and the only team with a 100%-win record.
Coach Jerry ‘Kappa’ Tshabalala believes the quality of women’s football in Africa has improved.
“Before this tournament, I spoke about the progress of the women’s game on the continent. Gone are the days when it was so easy to predict the outcomes of women’s fixtures. In recent times, we have seen countries invest heavily in the sport to improve the production of players as well as their technical teams. Football clubs at this tournament did their homework and the quality of football has been incredible,” Kappa stated.
Ahead of the clash against Green Buffaloes, Coach Jerry believes his side will need to be inventive to get a result.
“We are very much aware that teams have studied the way we play, hence, we need to find new ways to overcome opponents. This tournament has proved to be an eye opener for us because it has given us a preview of what to expect at the CAF Women’s Champions League later this year. Green Buffaloes will not be pushovers, but we need to revisit our tactical approaches ahead of a potentially stern test. Champions always find a way to win, and we have to do just that,” Kappa concluded.
Captain Zanele Nhlapho is relishing the opportunity to defend the COSAFA title, “We have enjoyed every bit of the tournament thus far thanks to the quality of football that has been played. However, we are keen to improve on our performances at the tournament and the final against Green Buffaloes will be a perfect opportunity to get back our groove.”
The final will pit the top two scorers of the competition, Buffaloes star Ireen Lungu with five goals against Melinda Kgadiete with three strikes.
For Sundowns Ladies, the final presents an opportunity to clinch a second successive title having won six of seven games played in the tournament’s history.
Both teams clashed in the semi-final last year with The Brazilians securing a hard-fought 1-0 win thanks to Melinda Kgadiete’s header.
The clash between Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies against Zambia’s Green Buffaloes takes centre stage at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium in Durban. The kick-off time for the fixture is 15h30.
Goodluck to our Ladies!!!