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Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies vs ASFAR Club Preview

Oratile Mokwena

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies goalkeeper Asa Rabalao will be aiming for her third straight clean sheet in the competition as ASFAR Club clutch at their last straws to remain in the tournament, while Sundowns are in the driving seat for Friday’s afternoon’s Group B match.

Will Masandawana go all the way and claim continental glory? We don’t know for certain, but what we do know is, “The Sky is the Limit”.

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies

CAF Women’s Champions League – Group B
Friday 12 November
Al Salam Stadium, Cairo, Egypt
16:00

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies captain Zanele Nhlapo

Masandawana captain Zanele Nhlapo inspired her team to victory by slamming home the match-winning goal against Nigerian club River Angels to claim back-to-back clean sheets in a pair of 1-0 victories, days after Melinda Kgadiete’s strike against Vihiga Queens secured maximum points.

This leaves Sundowns on good footing going into their final group clash, meaning if the South African club top Group B’s standings, they will go on to face Malabo Kings (Equatorial Guinea), who’ve finished second behind Group A winners, Hasaacas Ladies (Ghana).

Let’s get our calculators out for a moment, hypothetically, if Sundowns suffer a defeat to ASFAR and Vihiga Queens beat River Angels, three teams will be tied on six points. CAF rules dictate qualification will then be decided on the teams’ head-to-head record where Sundowns will progress through ahead of Vihiga Queens.

Head coach Jerry Tshabalala

Enough of that, back to the quality that the team possess, this team is immense and will be tough to break down. Prior to the crucial encounter, coach Jerry Tshabalala said, “Another tricky game, against yet another tricky side. They beat Rivers Angels, so we prepared well for them. We’ve seen how they play and it’s very tricky for us”.

“What matters the most is the points, we care about the performance, but we care more about the points, because this is not an easy group, so we’re grinding for results”.

“I know my team; we have few scoring results. Yes, we’ve expected to score more goals, but we are at a high level and the opponents are well organized, so the level of competition is very high”.

“Egypt is a very good place for this tournament. We have a lot of support here and people are very welcoming”.

Meanwhile, the ‘engine-room of this well-oiled machine’, midfielder Lerato Kgasago felt that, “We need to fix our passes and play our football. We prepared well for the game, we watched the games, and we know they are a good side”.

ASFAR Club

Sanaa Mssoudy

ASFAR Club have all to play for in their final group match that will decide if the Moroccan club will be booking their tickets back home or be extending their stay in Cairo, for another week to contest the knockout stages.

Sanaa Mssoudy etched her name in the history books by scoring the first ever hattrick of the CAF Women’s Champions League against coach Edwin Okon’s River Angels, however, ASFAR then went on to suffer a 2-0 defeat to Kenyan Premier League outfit, Vihiga Queens, three days later.

Following the defeat, ASFAR's goalkeeper Khadija Er-Remichi said, “The final match will be decisive, it’s going to be a difficult one with a very strong opponent, especially that the teams’ levels are close and every team seeks to qualify for the semi-finals. Every team will fight, as every team wants to clinch a semi-final ticket.”

Leading up to the clash ASFAR head coach Abdallah Haidamou had his say: “It’s a difficult match tomorrow, it’s like a final to us. But we’ll do everything we can to win this match. We took care of the players mentally and worked on our tactics and the mistakes we made”.

“We need to play our football and be calmer on the ball. I urged my players to turn every chance into a goal”.

“My players did not get overconfident after the first match; they are used to score many goals and hat-tricks. They did not just have many chances last match”.

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies

Prediction: Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies Win
I know I’ve been saying this in my last two previews, but I feel Sundowns Ladies can put ASFAR Club to the sword on their day and put five goals past the Moroccans, despite Masandawana’s manager being modest in the pre-match press conference.

Nevertheless, another 1-0 result is all that is required. Game management and intelligence among the team stem from the brains trust of coaches Jerry Tshabalala and Agnes Nkosi and I simply can’t see Sundowns losing this match.

Written by Bryan Naicker