After three games played at the inaugural edition of the Total Energies CAF Women’s Champions League, Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies are yet to concede a single goal, the only team at the tournament yet to do so. This impressive facet of Coach Jerry Tshabalala’s game plan has been well lauded due to the defensive structure, discipline, sheer hard work and transitional efficiency the team has displayed thus far in Egypt. Despite the high level of opposition faced in Group B, the defense of Bafana Ba Style has remained a well-stocked and well-drilled unit.
Sundowns Ladies qualified for the semi-final stage as winners of Group B after consecutive 1-0 wins over Kenya’s Vihiga Queens and Nigeria’s Rivers Angels in their opening two group matches and a goalless draw against Morocco’s ASFAR. As The Brazilians prepare to face Equatorial Guinea’s Malabo Kings in the last four, Coach Tshabalala has backed his team to create more chances in the final third.
“We are very happy that we have come this far in Egypt. Against our next opponents, we need to be more creative in unlocking their defense by moving the ball quicker. I have spoken to the Ladies and they are confident of scoring more goals. We have worried too much about our opposition on certain occasions and that may have prevented us from scoring the way we would have loved. Being in the semi-finals is one step towards the big objective which is to win the first-ever title of this prestigious competition,” Coach Tshabalala confidently stated.
The Chloorkop side is just two wins away from clinching the continent’s premier women’s tournament. One player who the South Africans are banking on for the goals is striker Rhoda Mulaudzi who scored an impressive 36 goals in 18 appearances in the 2019/2020 league season, to finish as the top scorer. Mulaudzi who has played in Australia, Cyprus and Belarus before returning home, believes the team is ready for the battle ahead.
“I am very excited that we have come this far despite the tough nature of the first three games we have played. We have been training very hard for the semi-finals because we have to show what we are capable of in front of goal. Our defense has been very impressive and we have to complement their efforts by showing our ruthlessness in the final third. This is because games are won by scoring goals and we are ready to get the job done,” said Rhoda.
Kings posted one win, one defeat and a draw to qualify from Group A as runner-up thanks to a superior head-to-head record over Hosts Wadi Degla. Nevertheless, Coach Tshabalala insists the Central Africans should not be taken lightly.
“It is going to be a massive tie against the Kings. This is because we have watched them several times and they are highly physical and robust in their approach. This means that we have to be inventive as much as possible. Despite the size of our opponents, we will have to rely on our strengths and make sure that they worry about us and not the other way round,” concluded the highly experienced coach.
Sundowns Ladies face Malabo Kings in a gigantic semi-final battle on Monday at the El Salam Stadium and the kick-off time for the fixture is 19h00. Ghana’s Hasaacas Ladies will play Morocco’s ASFAR in the first semi-final clash of the day and the game is scheduled for 16h00.
The winners of those semi-final matchups will play in a historic first-ever final of the inaugural edition of the Total Energies CAF Women’s Champions League.