Holders Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies have commenced the second edition of the CAF Women’s Champions League on a positive note thanks to a 2-1 win over Nigeria’s Bayelsa Queens.
A brace from Lelona Daweti was enough to hand the reigning champions a hard-fought victory against the debutants in the opening fixture of Group B.
Andile Dlamini started in goal while Regina Mogolola, Bambanani Mbane, and Tiisetso Makhubela began in defense. Thalea Smidt, Chuene Morifi, and Rhoda Mulaudzi started in midfield while Boitumelo Rabale, Nonhlanhla Mthandi, and Melinda Kgadiete formed a three-woman attacking trident upfront.
The Brazilians controlled possession in the early period and were duly rewarded with a fine strike thanks to a neat header from Lelona Daweti courtesy of a lofty assist from Thalea Smidt.
After the break, Banyana Ba Style conjured up several attacking moves with Daweti finishing off another fine team move with Kgadiete showing great vision.
The debutants from Nigeria grabbed a late consolation goal thanks to Mary-Magdalene Anjor. That did little to dampen the mood as Sundowns Ladies secured victory.
After the game, Lelona Daweti who scored the first brace of this year’s competition praised the collective efforts of the team, “I am very happy with the way we played against our opponents. Our plan was to dominate possession and finish off our chances and we did just that. Scoring twice makes me happy, but my overall excitement lies in the fact that we grabbed maximum points. What a perfect way to start the group.”
Goalkeeper Andile Dlamini was also pleased with the outcome of the fixture, “Getting maximum points in the first game is always a big boost and we achieved that. Our opponents proved very tough in key areas, and we are happy with the way we kept our composure throughout the game. Kudos to everyone.”
Chuene Morifi believes there is room for improvement after a highly physical encounter, “This was a very tough game for us because Queens are a top side in Nigeria who possess several players from the national team. Things were a bit difficult for us in the early period, but we managed to settle in and take control of the game. We converted our chances when they came, and we are pleased with the outcome of the fixture. We are eagerly looking forward to the next game.”
In the other Group B clash, TP Mazembe beat Wadi Degla FC thanks to a solitary strike from Merveille Kanjinga.
Up next for Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies is a clash against Egypt’s Wadi Degla on Thursday, 3rd of November at Stade de Marrakech, Marrakesh.
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