Sundowns Ladies 2022 Season Recap: Part 1

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies enjoyed a brilliant season under Coach Jerry ‘Kappa’ Tshabalala, winning the Hollywoodbets Super League for the third time in a row, despite suffering final heartbreak in both the COSAFA Qualifier and the CAF Women’s Champions League. This is how their season unfolded from the beginning: Part 1 season review.

For the new season, Banyana Ba Style acquired the services of Tiisetso ‘Bastos’ Makhubela and Gabonnelwe Salome Kekana from Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Ladies. The Brazilians also swooped for striking sensation Miche Minnies from Vasco da Gama Ladies.

The new signings were all handed their debuts in the first game of the season against Ma-Indies Ladies with Minnies finding the back of the net in a hard-fought 2-1 win. Miche continued her spectacular form for her new side by scoring twice in the comprehensive 11-0 victory over Golden Ladies in the second fixture.

Aside from the flurry of goals against Golden Ladies, a stand-out moment from the game occurred when 16-year-old Sphesihle Magazi replaced four-goal hero Andisiwe Mgcoyi and showed everyone just why she is the next big midfield star at Chloorkop.

Afterward, Sundowns Ladies continued their impressive streak at the King Zwelithini Stadium with a clinical showing against Durban Ladies. Boitumelo Rabale grabbed the headline with a stunning first-half hat-trick coupled with goals from Khunjulwa Mali and Zanele Nhlapho as Kappa’s troops registered a 5-0 win.

Most notably, the game witnessed the return of goalkeeper Sedilame ‘Tsontso’ Boseja who finally made her long-awaited return from injury. Boseja would go on to impress throughout the season which earned her a nomination in the Goalkeeper of the Year category at the end-of-the-season Hollywoodbets Super League awards.

The Brazilians also marked International Dance Day (29th of April) with multi-talented performer Lehlogonolo Mashigo, popularly known as “Hlogi Mash” describing the importance of marking the day. Hlogi Mash was part of a star-studded music lineup that performed during the inaugural Mamelodi Sundowns Supporter Appreciation Day at the FNB Stadium which took place six days earlier.

Banyana Ba Style continued their splendid start to the season thanks to a comprehensive 8-0 win over City Lads Ladies with Boitumelo Rabale and Andisiwe Mgcoyi both bagging brilliant braces. However, that perfect run would come to an end in the following game as the University of the Western Cape (UWC) registered a shock 2-0 win. It was Sundowns Ladies’ first on-pitch defeat to any opponent across any competition in almost four years.

The Brazilians made immediate amends a week later thanks to an emphatic 5-1 over TUT Ladies in the highly anticipated Tshwane Derby. New signing Gabonnelwe Kekana was amongst the goals in the dominant victory. Another 5-1 victory followed in the next fixture against Thunderbirds Ladies at the Gelvandale Stadium as Sundowns Ladies ended May in dominant fashion.

In June, Banyana Ba Style became the first team to inflict a defeat on Bloemfontein Celtic Ladies thanks to goals from Boitumelo Rabale and Gabonnelwe Kekana. Back-to-back wins against JVW FC and First Touch Ladies meant Kappa’s troops went into the international break in high spirits.

During the break, five Sundowns Ladies played instrumental roles as Banyana Banyana clinched their first-ever Women’s Cup of Nations title in Morocco. The players were Andile ‘Sticks’ Dlamini, Karabo Dhlamini, Bambanani ‘Juice’ Mbane, Thalea Smidt and Melinda Kgadiete.

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