Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies will be gunning for maximum points when they square off against Nigeria’s Bayelsa Queens in their CAF Women’s Champions League opener on Monday.
The Brazilians have been training hard since landing in the North African nation as they hope to kick-start their title defense on a positive note.
Banyana Ba Style is one of only three teams from last year’s competition who maintained their spot for this year’s edition.
Although Sundowns Ladies lost 6-5 on penalties to Zambia’s Green Buffaloes in the final of the COSAFA Qualifiers, Coach Jerry ‘Kappa’ Tshabalala believes that lessons have been learned as his team prepares to defend their continental crown.
“Defending the titles we won last year was our major aim for this season. Thus far, we have won the Hollywoodbets Super League title and we are fully prepared to fight again for the continental trophy. Although we lost out in the COSAFA final, we realized our mistakes and we are ready to rectify them as quickly as possible,” Kappa stated.
The Brazilians registered a narrow 1-0 group stage victory over Rivers Angels in last year’s competition. Coach Jerry believes his team will have to be at their very best against another Nigerian team in Bayelsa Queens.
“We have to stamp our authority in the opening game because it goes a long way in signalling our intentions early enough. As a team, we must fight together both on and off the pitch against Yenagoa-based Bayelsa Queens. We will be treating each game as a final because that is what champions do. To successfully defend our crown, our defending, pressing, and finishing must be spot on at all times,” Coach Jerry concluded.
CAF organisers have announced that the winners of the tournament will receive $400,000 in prize money while the runners-up will be handed £250,000. The beaten semi-finalists will take home $200,000 and the teams who finish third and fourth in the group will take home $150,000 and $100,000 respectively.
The match between Sundowns Ladies and Bayelsa Queens will take place on Monday, 31st October at Stade de Marrakech, Marrakesh.
CAF Women’s Champions League Group Draw
Group A: AS FAR (Morocco, hosts), Simba Queens (Tanzania), Green Buffaloes (Zambia), and Determine Girls (Liberia).
Group B: Mamelodi Sundowns (South Africa, defending champions), Bayelsa Queens (Nigeria), Wadi Degla (Egypt), and TP Mazembe (DR Congo).