Sundowns through to 3rd successive CAF Women’s Champions League final

* Date Moroccan side SC Casablanca in another North vs South encounter

* Defending champions AS Far will settle for an opportunity to contest for the bronze medal on Saturday

Maravi Express

Mamelodi Sundowns will play their third consecutive CAF Women’s Champions League final following their 1-0 triumph of Moroccan side AS Far in the semi-finals on Wednesday evening at Korogho’s Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium.


They will now face another Moroccan side, SC Casablanca, who are through to final following a 3-2 penalty victory over Ampem Darkoa of Ghana after the two sides played out to an exciting 2-2 draw in San Pedro’s Laurent Pokou stadium also on Wednesday evening.

While a place in the finals was the main target, the tie between the Mamelodi Sundowns and AS Far was somewhat of a grudge match for the South Africans, who surrendered their champions title to the Moroccans in last season’s final that saw AS Far being crowned champions.

A CAFonline report says it was an evenly balanced encounter, with nothing to separate the two sides as expected as the first half saw the tie go into the break with a goalless stalemate, with both approaching the match with caution.


But after the recess, both sides were a bit more adventurous in search of the lead and it was the South Africans who found the one and only goal in the 73rd minute, as Boitumelo Rabale connected well with a corner to fire her side into the finals of Africa’s premier women’s club competition.

AS Far will settle for an opportunity to contest for the bronze medal on Saturday evening and in post match interview, the team’s coach, Mohamed Amine Alioua took responsibility of the defeat, saying: “The girls did everything right — now we will focus on the small final. Even if the disappointment hurts, we will continue to do our best in our last game.”

His counterpart Jerry Tshabalala thanked people of Korhogo for their unwavering support, saying they felt at home, saying: “Now, we will have to correct our little shortcomings to be at the top on Sunday and offer an extraordinary finale to this audience.”

The two North vs South encounter for the CAF Women’s Champions League follow another two-legged African Football League between men’s Mamelodi Sundowns and Wydad Casablanca from Morocco.

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.

Meanwhile, SC Casablanca are through to the final in their debut in Africa’s premier women’s football club competition, which was also the first for the Ghanaian side, Ampem Darkoa.

A CAFonline report said both making Ampem Darkoa and SC Casablanca have both had an impressive run in Côte d’Ivoire in their debut appearance and it was a place in the final up for the taking for the two sides aiming to put the cherry on top of their impressive debut.

It took just six minutes for Comfort Yeboah to open the scoring for Darkoa after the early pressure applied by the Ghanaians resulted in a penalty for Yeboah to slot home.


Minutes later, the defender was back on the scoresheet, this time with an unfortunate own goal that gifted the Moroccans the equalizer in the 28th minute.

Not to be disheartened by the unfortunate incident, Ampem Darkoa continued to push forward and were duly rewarded in the 39th minute after the lively Jennifer Owusuaa regained the lead with a wonder strike from a distance that had the entire stadium in awe.

Returning from the break, SC Casablanca came out a different side in search of the early equalizer. The applied pressure paid dividends for the Moroccan side who were awarded a penalty minutes into the second half for Agueissa Diarra to step up and convert in the 56th minute.


Both sides had an equal amount of chances to get the winning goal but were both let down by their finishing when it mattered the most as nothing could separate them in referees regulation time as well as extra time.

With the lottery of penalties, it was the Moroccans who emerged 3-2 victors in a dramatic shootout and coach El Qaïchouri Mehdi said of the match: “The key word is emotion. At the end of a match where we were behind twice, we came back and qualified for the final after penalties – this is fantastic.

“We are happy to participate in this final and will try to take advantage of the moment and prepare for the final from Thursday. It’s exceptional to see such an audience for a women’s football match, I would like to thank everyone who supported us. I thank the Ivorian public for their support.”

Coach for Ampem Darkoa, Nana Joe Adarkwa said it was very painful to lose but the technical team have to boost the morale of the girls to play well in the third place playoff.

“We had to count on penalties, and it was not easy. We had to take advantage of the opportunities and not wait for penalties,” said the coach.