COSAFA CAFCL QUALIFIERS: Sundowns Ladies show great determination to reach final!

Miche Minnies

Mamelodi Sundowns fought hard to overcome defending champions, Zambia’s Buffaloes and reach the final of the Cosafa Caf Champions League qualifiers at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Wednesday.

Miche Minnies continues to establish her name in South African football. After going viral on social media earlier in the week for her striking resemblance with 2005 Ballon d’Or winner, Ronaldinho, the 21-year-old striker once again made headlines when she helped Ka Bo Yellow reach the semi-final of the COSAFA CAF Champions League Qualifiers with her goal against Mozambique’s Costa do Sol on Monday.

Two days later, the Brazilians put on an impressive display at the Sugar Ray Xulu stadium in Durban where they had to come from a goal down against Green Buffaloes to win the semi-final clash by 3-1 advance to final where they’ll face Botswana’s Double Action.

Buffaloes had taken an early lead through Maylan Mulenga, but Sundowns showed great grit and determination to reach the final and knock-out the defending champions of the regional tournament.

Banya BaStyle needed to settle into the game, and would find their way back into the match thanks to a powerful header by captain Zanele Nhlapho.

As the half-time whistle approached, Sundowns could have taken the lead had it not been for a few wasted chances in front of goal by Lelona Daweti, while at the opposite side Andile Dlamini was made to work, making crucial save to stop Buffaloes from getting the second goal.

The second half brought out a rejuvenated Ka Bo Yellow side as winger Chuene Morifi gave them the lead in the hour mark, and their constant persistence would see them celebrate a third goal after substitute Andisiwe Mgcoyi was brought down inside the box. It was Tiisetso Makhubela who stepped up and tucked the ball behind the net for Sundowns – sending them to the finals.

Having been defeated by the Zambian side in the previous edition of the competition, the South Africans will surely give themselves a pat on the back for avenging the defeat.

Jerry Tshabalala’s charges will feel more than confident of going all the way and defeating Double Action on Friday, after giving remarkable performances throughout the qualifiers.

Double Action reached the final after beating Costa do Sol of Mozambique 2-0 at the same Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium on Wednesday.

Before the semi-final games were played, four Sundowns Ladies players were named in the ‘Group Stage Best 11’ with Andile Dlamini, Lelona Daweti, Chuene Morifi and Andisiwe Mgcoyi making the cut.

Catch the action as the curtain comes down on the COSAFA Qualifiers – Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies take on Double Action at the Suger Ray Xulu Stadium at 3pm.

Wednesday’s losing teams, Costa do Sol and Green Buffaloes, will vie for third place and the bronze medal as a curtain-raiser to Friday’s decider.