Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies have been reflecting on their recent triumph in securing the CAF Women’s Champions League COSAFA zonal qualifier title.
The Brazilians defeated Double Action Ladies 2-0, earning them their second regional crown and a spot in the prestigious CAF Women’s Champions League in Ivory Coast in November.
Captain Zanele Nhlapho, who scored twice at the tournament, including a fierce header that sparked a comeback against Green Buffaloes in the semi-finals, believes that victory in Durban will be a driving force for the rest of the season. She stated, “Last year’s defeat was a motivating factor and we knew that the only way to compete in the CAF Champions League this year was to win COSAFA, so it was crucial to bring it back home. This title will motivate us moving forward as we compete in both the Hollywoodbets Super League and the continental quest. It won’t be easy, but the mentality we developed during COSAFA and the coaching support we received will undoubtedly help us prevail. We are fully motivated and the fact that we conceded just one goal at COSAFA shows our hunger to succeed.”
The Brazilians scored an impressive 21 goals across six games and won two of the three individual awards. Andisiwe Mgcoyi scooped the overall Golden Boot Award after bagging three goals, while Andile Dlamini claimed the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award. Chuene Morifi missed out on the Player of the Tournament award to Lesego Radiakanyo of Double Action Ladies.
Nhlapho was full of praise for Morifi, who delivered an incredible performance throughout the competition. She added, “Although it was a team effort, Chuene’s performance was extraordinary because she was at the heart of everything we did. I told her after the final that, despite all the odds, I felt she was brilliant for us throughout the tournament.”
Andisiwe Mgcoyi was also pleased with the title after last year’s heartbreak. She said, “The COSAFA victory reminds me of 2021 when we won the treble. Last year’s defeat was deflating and we were very determined to make things right this year. This title has restored our confidence ahead of the Hollywoodbets Super League because the league this year is very competitive. Nevertheless, we are going to stick with our philosophy, which has always helped us win no matter the circumstances.”
Oratile Mokwena expressed her utmost excitement after Downs clinched their second COSAFA crown in three years, “It’s overwhelming. The team dedicated a lot of effort in training and I’m truly delighted that it led to us reclaiming our trophy. Hoisting this trophy serves as motivation in itself. It also demonstrates that we have the potential to win many more trophies if we maintain consistency and approach every game as if it were a final.”
Goalkeeper of the Tournament, Andile Dlamini, also praised the unity within the team and their determination to fight for each other. She said, “There are a lot of positives to take away from this victory because it means so much to us. By winning it, we qualified for the big one – the CAF Champions League. Collectively, we were all on the same page with the mandate, which was to win this tournament. We hope to carry this winning spirit into the other competitions we are participating in, such as the league and the continental battle.”
The CAF Women’s Champions League is scheduled to be held from November 5th to 19th, and the winners of this season will receive a guaranteed prize of USD 400,000.