MAMELODI SUNDOWNS LADIES, THE INVINCIBLE QUEENS OF AFRICAN FOOTBALL
Written by Neo Molefi on November 21, 2023
Written By: Kamogelo Mogale
Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies were crowned 2023 CAF Women’s Champions League Champions after they defeated Sporting Club Casablanca of Morocco 3-0 in the final at the Stade Amadou Gon Coulibaly stadium on Sunday evening.
Boitumelo Rabale found the back of the net with Refilwe Tholakele scoring a brace to ensure that Banyana ba style are crowned CAF Women’s World
Champions for the second time, with their first triumph being in 2021 in Cairo, Egypt.
This was Banyana ba style’s third consecutive CAF Women’s Champions League having lost out in the final against ASFAR Rabat of Morocco in last year’s campaign.
Coach Jerry Tshabalala praised the leadership of CAF on how the tournament has grown since the inception back in 2021. “The past two editions, you can see the competitive element from the teams not only from the Southern region but from all other six regions of CAF. When we started partaking in the tournament in back, we had a team called Vihiga Queens and now that team is not there which shows that there will be a different team from each region and that plays a role in the growth of women’s football on the continent”, Tshabalala explains.
Jerry Tshabalala’s charges suffered a 4-0 defeat in the final against ASFAR Rabat in last year’s editions after his side has Rhoda Mulaudzi and captain Zanele Nhlapho red carded. Downs ladies have learnt from their mistakes and had to right their wrongs in order to reclaim continental cup glory.
Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies saw off last year’s winners ASFAR Rabat to book an appointment with tournament debutants Sporting Club Casablanca. Banyana ba style have created history as they won the 2023 CAF Women’s Champions League as the invincible queens winning the tournament without conceding and scoring nine goals in the process.
Tshabalala says their preparations and not having a revenge mentality is what won them the title. “I wasn’t expect my girls to keep the same intensity that we started the game with. When you look in the first twenty minutes, we needed to suffocate them with a high intensity because they played
extra time and penalties in their previous game and chances are that they will be tired.
I think that really worked for us but in terms of the girls bringing more energy in the tank, I think it goes back to the training seasons that we’ve been having. They have been very light so that the girls could recuperate”, coach further explains.
There were also individual awards which Andile Dlamini walking away with the goalkeeper of the tournament for keeping clean sheets throughout the tournament, with Boitumelo Rabale winning the player of the match and player of the tournament awards while Refilwe Tholakele won the top
goal scorer award for scoring five goals in the tournament.
The team is expected to arrive back in South Africa on Tuesday at 11h00 and their arrival will be followed up by a press conference scheduled for 13h30.