Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies. (Mamelodi Sundowns/Twitter)
Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies made African history by becoming the winners of the first-ever CAF Women’s Champions League after beating Ghanaian side Hasaacas Ladies 2-0 in Cairo on Friday.
Sundowns Ladies’ victory means the Chloorkop club joins Spanish side Barcelona as the only football clubs to win the men’s and women’s Champions League titles on their respective continents.
Goals by Chuene Morifi and Andisiwe Mgcoyi ensured victory for the South Africans, who exacted revenge for their men’s national team Bafana Bafana’s controversial loss to Ghana last Sunday.
Sundowns Ladies went into the break with their handy 1-0 lead given to them by their pacey wingback Morifi 33 minutes in.
Morifi benefitted from an intricately worked Downs attack and a brilliant over-the-top chip by Melinda Kgadiete that allowed Mgcoyi to get behind the Hasaacas Ladies defence and ping a low cross.
Morifi did the easy part, tapping into the net with the outside of her left boot before delirium ensued on the Downs bench.
Sundowns could have taken the lead earlier when Mgcoyi had a free header in the 8th minute while Lerato Kgasago’s curling left-foot free-kick narrowly went over the bar.
Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies. (Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies/Twitter)
Hasaacas tried to hit back after conceding with a four-on-three counter-attack that they should have made the most of, but they couldn’t find the final ball.
Sundowns started the second half with another headed chance missed as they continued their dominance over their counterparts.
The clash of styles and systems worked in the South Africans’ favour. Their 3-5-2 setup looked fluid and foiled the Ghanaians’ 4-2-3-1 formation.
Mgcoyi was imperious with her positioning and using her frame against Hasaacas defenders, although outnumbered most times and hacked frequently.
She got her just reward when she latched onto a Nhlanhla Mthandi through pass and expertly swept the ball under Hasaacas goalie Grace Buoadu’s on-rushing frame.
At 2-0, Sundowns looked on course to seal history.
Thalea Smidt broke up play constantly in midfield while Daweti and Kgadiete had the precision to find dangerous final balls that caused danger in the final third.
Goalkeeper Andile Dlamini remained cool at the back, although she was seldom worked.
But she pulled out a world-class save from the top drawer to deny Perpetual Agyekum’s ferocious left-foot strike from a direct free-kick just outside the box.
Despite a VAR-prompted red-card to substitute Regina Mogolola in injury time, Sundowns defiantly writ their names into football history books.