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Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies vs Malabo Kings Preview

Melinda Kgadiete

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies are two victories away from returning to South Africa’s shores as the nation’s heroes by raising aloft a beautiful trophy on the continental stage and etching their names into the history books. Masandawana need to leap over the first hurdle, in the form of Malabo Kings, before meeting either Ghanaian club Hasaacas Ladies or Moroccan outfit ASFAR Club in the grandstand showdown of the final on Friday evening.

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies

CAF Women’s Champions League: Semi-final
Monday 15 November
Al Salam Stadium, Cairo, Egypt

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies

Thalea Smidt

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies are the only team yet to concede a single goal at the tournament with goalkeeper Asa Rabalao keeping clean sheets in the wins over Vihiga Queens and River Angels, while Andile 'Sticks' Dlamini returned to action in the goalless draw against ASFAR Club.

The winning formula to clean sheets has been the entire team pressing as a collective unit to win the ball back. Massive credit needs to be given to the back four of Karabo ‘Makhu’ Makhurubetshi, Zanele Nhlapo, Bambanani Mbane and Chuene Morifi for always being comfortable in possession to play out of the opposition’s press and simultaneously being defensively solid as a rock.

The only time Sundowns have looked vulnerable were at the end of matches when opponents threw the kitchen sink at them by committing seven or eight players inside Masandwana’s penalty area.

Head coach Jerry Tshabalala

Head coach Jerry Tshabalala said, “We are in the semi-finals, it’s a big game. We’ve seen Malabo Kings many times, they’re a good team, very physical and we know what to expect from them”.

“I hope we can get more clinical in front of the goal as we haven’t been scoring many goals”.

“We are going to the finals! To be champions, we have to be ready for any team”.

My personal favourite player over the last three games has to be veteran Rhoda Mulaudzi. Here’s what she said during the build-up to this massive clash: “We know why we are here as players. We know we are here to represent Mamelodi Sundowns, to win the title”.

“We did well defensively, and as the coach said it’s up to us strikers to score more goals”.

“We have support from different places, we are here to represent South Africa, but we have support messages from all over COSAFA”.

Malabo Kings

Malabo Kings

Malabo Kings secured passage to the semi-finals with four points after playing three games, losing their opener to Ghanaian club Hasaacas Ladies (3-1), before going on to claim victory over Egyptians, Wadi Degla (3-0), and then later sharing the spoils with AS Mande (Mali) in a 1-1 draw.

The team hail from Equatorial Guinea and their biggest weapon thus far is undoubtedly, jersey number 11, Stephanie Drepoba Gbogou.

Her three goals in the tournament came in Malabo Kings’ convincing win over Wadi Degla, where spearhead Gbogou utilised her power to bully the hosts in their own backyard, while scoring a consolation goal against Hasaacas Ladies.

Grace Mfwamba is the other player to watch with her pace and technically-gifted skill-set, constantly attempting to assist Gbogou at every opportunity.

“We know they are a strong team like every other team, but we have a purpose to go back home with the title”.

“Sundowns can end the game and win it with minimum goals, which makes us believe we need to start scoring to win the match. We know it will not easy, but we’ll fight till the end”, claimed defender Ramona Mibuy.

Meanwhile, head coach Ruben Garcia Gallego said, “We are now preparing for the game, the team we are facing is very strong and we have to prepare accordingly”.

“Last match, we were aware that we were in a difficult situation, but once we knew how the other match ended and that we qualified, we started thinking about the new situation”.

“Mamelodi Sundowns is a very strong team as a whole; their goalkeepers are good, and their midfield is compatible”.

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies

Prediction: Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies Win
For the fourth straight game, I’m confident that Sundowns will put a few goals past their opponents while keeping a clean sheet and booking their ticket to the final.

Written by Bryan Naicker