With ASFAR FC (Morocco) having a better head-to-head record over Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies (South Africa) after two games in the CAF Women’s Champions League in 2021 and 2022, the South African champions will hope to break the jinx of two winless games against the Champions League holders when both side trade tackles at the Stade Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Korhogo, Ivory Coast.
The first encounter between both teams ended 0-0 in the last group stage of the maiden edition of the tournament in 2021.
In 2022, ASFAR FC thrashed nine players Sundowns faltered 4-0 to ASFAR in the final thanks to a hat-trick from the tournament’s top goal scorer, Ibtissam Jraidi, and a goal from the player of the tournament, Fatima Tagnaout.
Sundowns head coach, Jerry Tshabala is confident his team can end this run to pick their first-ever win over ASFAR FC.
“We are not in this tournament to beat ASFAR but to win the tournament. For us to win the tournament, we have to go through ASFAR FC and beat ASFAR. Fortunately, we are meeting ASFAR again and it is what we have been waiting for. We will play ASFRA tomorrow,” Tshabalala told journalists during the pre-match conference in Korhogo on Tuesday.
Tshabala who led Sundown to win the maiden CAF Women’s Champions League title in Egypt (2021) isn’t bordered about the slightly superior head-to-head record the Moroccans have over his team as he thinks tactical prowess will come to play.
He said: “Statistically, ASFAR FC are ahead of us in terms of the number of games that we have played. We have not beaten them. They have gone one ahead of us and we have played a draw. All the games are different with different matches. We are in a different place in Cote d’Ivoire. We were in Morocco and Egypt. When I look at the games that we have played so far, I will say the match will only be decided on the field of play. Statistics don’t talk that much as it will be a different ball game. We will see who is going to come out victorious tomorrow.
“Tomorrow’s game is just like any other game that we will be playing. The only difference is the tactical approach of the two teams. I believe that come tomorrow if we apply our tactics well, we will come out victorious. It is just like other games just like we have played Athletico FC and CS Casablanca. The difference will just be the tactics.”
Sundowns men’s team emerged as the winner of the maiden African Football League (AFL) after a 3-2 aggregate win over Morrocan side, Wydad Casablanca.
Tshabalala is focused on the semi-final and doesn’t want to let the men’s victory dissuade the women’s vision.
“We try our best not to compete with the men’s team.” He continued. “We are focussed on our visiting as we have got our mission likewise the men’s team also have their visions. If we try to focus on the men’s vision, it might affect our vision. We will try not to focus on what the men’s team achieved. If they win the African Football League (AFL), it is good for them and if we win the CAF Women’s Champions League, it is also good for us.
“For us to be champions, we don’t have to be afraid of any team. For a team to become champions, you must play against all the top teams. If we want to become the champions without meeting ASFAR, then we are not worthy champions. Let us meet ASFAR. I can tell you no that ASFAR is also afraid of meeting Mamelodi Sundowns.” He concluded.