By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Mamelodi Sundowns prepare to face Sporting Club Casablanca in the final of the 2023 CAF Women’s Champions League on Sunday, and it’s Head Coach of the South African champions, Jerry Tshabalala has rated the two Nigerian champions faced in the tournament history.
The 2021 champions edged Rivers Angels 1-0 at the maiden edition of the CAF Women’s Champions League in Egypt thanks to Zanele Nhlapho’s 16th-minute goal.
In 2022, the COSAFA (Southern Africa) champions also pipped another Nigerian side, Bayelsa Queens 2-1 in Morocco with the Prosperity Girls becoming the first team to score against them as Anjor Mary reduced the deficit after a brace from Lelona Daweti.
Irrespective of his side’s perfect record against Nigerian clubs in the competition, Tshabalala still holds the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) Premiership sides in high esteem.
“Both of those Nigerian teams that my club have played against in the CAF Women’s Champions League are very good,” Tshabalala told NigeriaFootball.ng.
“I remembered Bayelsa Queens were the first team to score against us in the competition. They are a very good side. Rivers Angels at the time were also good.”
Ampem Darkoa secured a 1-0 win over Delta Queens in the final of the 2023 West Africa Zone B (WAFU-B) finals to deny the Nigerian champions the chance of qualifying for the 2023 CAF Women’s Champions League.
Tshabalala believes the Pearls would have been WAFU-B-worthy representatives at the 2023 CAF Women’s Champions League in Ivory Coast.
“I still believed that Delta Queens were supposed to be here. Ampem Darkoa scored a goal and seat back. Delta Queens created so many chances because I was watching the game. I believe that is a team that should have represented WAFU-B.” He concluded.