Hosts ASFAR secured a 1-0 semi-final victory over Nigeria to set up a final clash against holders Mamelodi Sundowns in the CAF Women’s Champions League on Wednesday.
Ibtissam Jraidi’s solitary first half effort was all depleted Mohamed Amine Alioua’s side required to break their semi-final jinx and guarantee their place in the final of the competition for the first time.
The Prosperity Girls started like a house on fire as Chinyere Igbomalu, Juliet Sunday and Maryann Ezenagu all saw their moments in front of goal but could not convert any of their begging chances in the opening 15 minutes.
However, the Moroccans soaked pressure before turning on the heat on the Nigerian defence and found the breakthrough when Fatima Tagnaout raced through from the left wing to tee up Jraidi to break the deadlock in the 27th minute.
Domo Okara’s ladies fought hard to find a response through Sunday and Igbomalu’s efforts but the home side defended strongly to retain their lead at half time.
On resuming the contest, Bayelsa made a strong start by pouring attacks off Glory Edet’s powerful strike and Sunday’s header twice going wide within 15 minutes after the restart.
Late introductions of Flourish Sabastine and Etim Edidiong almost proved a huge bargain as the Nigerian piled pressure on the Moroccan defence but they hang on to celebrate the win.
The result sees the hosts surpass their previous best last year, having bowed to Hasaacas Ladies in the semi-final in Egypt and also complete a double over Nigeria, having stopped the Super Falcons at the same stage in July.
And the Morrocan Army will now meet defending champions Sundowns in a final rematch on November 13 at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium, where South Africa defeated Morocco to win the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in July.
Defending champions Sundowns reached the final for the second successive CAF Women’s Champions League tournament following a 1-0 victory over Simba Queens in Rabat on Wednesday.
Boitumelo Rabale scored the winner for Sundowns in the 76th minute.
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