Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies reached the final of the CAF Women’s Champions League COSAFA zonal qualifier for the third straight year as they registered a solid come-from-behind 3-1 victory over Zambia’s Green Buffaloes in Wednesday’s semi-final battle.
The Zambians grabbed the game’s opening goal, but the Brazilians fought back impressively thanks to goals from Zanele Nhlapho, Chuene Morifi and Tiisetso Makhubela to clinch victory in the pulsating encounter.
Having lost out in last year’s final at the hands of Green Buffaloes, the Brazilians were keen to make amends, and they did that in style. Maylan Mulenga opened the scoring for the Zambians before Zanele’s towering header made it 1-1, as both sides went into the break on level terms.
After the break, Morifi found the back of the net with an amazing run before Makhubela’s well-taken penalty wrapped up the win to extend their perfect record at this year’s competition.
Although she was not on the scoresheet, Boitumelo Rabale, who delivered a commanding performance, was pleased with the outcome of the game
“I am very happy that we secured the victory because the game was far from easy. Green Buffaloes were the reason we were not able to defend our title last year. While reaching the final is a significant achievement, our journey is not complete until we reclaim the CAF Champions League itself. Before that, we have a final game to prepare for and I am eagerly looking forward to it. The team has shown great determination and skill, and I have every confidence that we can finish this journey on a triumphant note.” Rabale stated.
Morifi, who was named Player of the Match, expressed surprise at the tactics of the Zambians but praised Downs for their ability to adjust.
“The game proved to be quite challenging because we initially expected them to deploy a low block, but they surprised us by matching us pound for pound. Our coaches played a crucial role in helping us settle into the game. For us, this match felt like the beginning of the tournament, and mentally, we were prepared for whatever they threw at us. While we are pleased with the result, we are not celebrating just yet. We have another tough game coming up in the final and we are eagerly anticipating the challenge ahead,” Chuene stated.
The Brazilians will face Double Action Ladies in Friday’s final after the Botswana-based side beat Mozambique’s Costa Do Sol 2-0. The winner will represent the COSAFA region at the CAF Women’s Champions League finals in Ivory Coast in November.
On the top scorers’ chart, five players are tied with three goals each: Tiisetso Makhubela, Lelona Daweti and Andisiwe Mgcoyi (all from Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies) as well as Gaonyadiwe Ontlametse and Lesego Radiakanyo (both from Double Action Ladies).
Before the semi-final games were played, four Sundowns Ladies players were named in the ‘Group Stage Best 11’ with Andile Dlamini, Lelona Daweti, Chuene Morifi and Andisiwe Mgcoyi making the cut.
Congratulations to our Ladies for reaching the final!