Another North vs South as Morocco’s AS Far date South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns in CAF Women’s Champions League semifinal

Sundowns and AS Far

* AS Far are the defending champions after they beat Mamelodi Sundowns in the final last year

* The South Africans Mamelodi Sundowns cemented their status as favourites for the title

* With a comfortable 3-0 victory over Atlético d’Abidjan on Saturday having already qualified with a game in hand

By Duncan Mlanjira

After the North vs South encounter in the two-legged African Football League between South African side Mamelodi Sundowns and Wydad Casablanca from Morocco, a similar showdown is on the cards between Morocco’s AS Far and Mamelodi Sundowns in the CAF Women’s Champions League semifinal.

Inaugural African Football League champions Mamelodi Sundowns 

The men’s Sundowns were crowned the first-ever champions of the African Football League after a 2-0 second leg victory on Sunday clinching it on a 3-2 aggregate triumph having lost 1-2 in the first leg in Morocco.

So it’s a repeat of a North vs South encounter in the CAF Women’s Champions League being hosted in Côte d’Ivoire after AS Far, who are the defending champions, triumphed over Mali’s AS Mande to finish as Group leaders on six points — equal with Ampem Darkoa of Ghana but separated by goal difference.

The 2-0 win over AS Mande rejuvenated AS Far’s chances to defending their title following an unfortunate own goal by Fatou Dembele in the 5th minute plus a well converted penalty in the 37th minute by Fatima Tagnaout.


Mamelodi Sundowns, who were runners-up in last year’s edition, cemented their status as favourites for the title with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Atlético d’Abidjan on Saturday having already qualified with a game in hand.

This will be the South African champions’ third consecutive qualification to the tournament and all three goals were scored in the second half from Matoba Cisse and a brace from Refilwe Tebogo.

CAFonline reports that Sundowns’ fluidity and technical quality was evident as they controlled proceedings as Atlético d’Abidjan competed in the first half before fading after the break.

The report further said with qualification sealed prior to this game, Sundowns maintained their intensity to impress again and that Tebogo’s double capped a dominant display as the hosts were outclassed.


The South Africans’ attacking talent, including Tebogo and Andile Dlamini, ensures they are strong favourites to claim the trophy and

Sundowns coach Jerry Tshabalala is quoted as saying: “We achieved our first goal. I’m satisfied. We’re ready to face any team in the semi-finals.”

Tebogo, who took her tally to three goals, added: “I’m keeping an eye on what the other top scorers are doing. There’s a lot of talent, it’ll be an exciting battle.”

Meanwhile, another Moroccan side, Sporting Club Casablanca thumped Tanzania’s JKT Queens 4-1 victory on Saturday to qualify for their first-ever CAF Women’s Champions League semi-final.

SC Casablanca

CAFonline described SC Casablanca’s performance as ruthless following first-half goals from Meryem Hajri, Chaymaa Mourtaji and N’Guessan Nadège Koffi that put the Moroccans firmly in control.

Stumai Abdallah pulled one back for the Tanzanians after the break, but Adjoa Silviane Kokora restored the three-goal cushion to seal progression.

Needing a win to secure a spot in the semi-finals, the Moroccans successfully solved the problems with the goals they scored that helped them to advance.

The report said the turning point came in the 28th minute when JKT’s player, Happyness Hezron, committed a strong foul on Chaymaa Mourtaji inside the penalty area.


After consulting VAR, referee Salima Mukansanga pointed to the penalty spot and sent off the JKT offender while Meryem Hajri didn’t hesitate and converted the penalty in the 30th minute.

Despite the loss, JKT Queens coach, Esther Fred Chabruma remained upbeat, telling CAFonline: “We go home with valuable lessons and will come back stronger.”

SC Casablanca will meet Ghana’s Ampem Darkoa, who secured a historic semi-final spot after a convincing 3-1 victory over Hurricanes on Sunday through a brace by Tracy Twum along with a late strike by Yanyimaya Gnabekan.

Ghana’s Ampem Darkoa

Also taking place is the FIFA U-17 World Cup, which Africa is being represented by Mali, Burkina Faso, Morocco and African U-17 champions, Senegal.

A Mamadou Doumbia hat-trick propelled Mali to an emphatic 3-0 victory over Uzbekistan while Morocco earned a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Panama in their opening matches on Friday.

On Sunday, Burkina Faso began their campaign with a spirited display despite losing 3-0 to France in what CAFonline described as an entertaining match in Jakarta.

Mali’s Mamadou Doumbia scored hat-trick

Burkina Faso against France

Morocco v Panama

Second-half goals from Mathis Lambourde and late Joan Tincres and Tidiam Gomis penalties secured a winning start for Les Bleuets in the Group E match.

The four qualified for the U-17 World Cup after they qualified for the semifinals of the CAF U-17 Africa Cup of Nations in Algeria and by winning the title, Senegal marked a significant milestone for the country’s international football status coming on the heels of senior team, Lions of Teranga’s 2021 AFCON title triumph — which they are set to defend in Côte d’Ivoire from January

The Lions of Teranga’s 2021 AFCON title triumph also marked as their first-ever AFCON title they attained in Cameroun whey they won all matches except against Malawi in the group stages that ended 0-0.


Senegal’s Under-20 also clinched their first-ever U-20 AFCON title when they beat their neighbours The Gambia 2-0 in March to add to the country’s fairytale run in CAF competitions in a year.

The Under-17 also added more glory to their nation by winning the 2022 AFCON U-17 in Algeria that also earned them 3 additional accolades — Fair Play award, third Man of the Match (by teenage sensation Lamine Camara) and Best Goalkeeper Award(Pape Mamadou Sy).

Senegal are also AFCON Beach Soccer champions and will represent Africa at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup UAE 2024™ grouped with  Colombia, Belarus and Japan in Group C.