Mamelodi Sundowns women make it a club double with African Champions League win

November 20 – Mamelodi Sundowns claimed a second African Women’s Champions League with a convincing 3-0 win against Sporting Casablanca of Morocco. 

Refilwe Tholakele and Boitumelo Rabale provided the South Africans with a two-goal cushion in the first half before Tholakele got a second to wrap up a resounding win in the final of Africa’s premier club competition. Sundowns did not concede a single goal in the tournament.

“They normally say lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place but I think in this case it has,” said Sundowns coach Jerry Tshabalala.

“In 2021 we won the tournament without conceding, in the third edition we’ve done it again. I wouldn’t say it means we were stronger than the other teams but I think we were well prepared.”

The team had lost the Champions League final against Rabat last year, but came good against the Casablanca, with Tshabalala praising his charges’ energy.

“Honestly speaking I wasn’t expecting my players to keep the same intensity we started the game with,” said Tshabalala.

“When you look at the first 20 minutes, I said [to the players], ‘We need to suffocate them with a high intensity’. We knew they had played extra time and went to penalties, and there was a good chance they would be tired.

“I think it worked really well for us. But in terms of the girls bringing more energy to the tank, I think it goes back to the training sessions we’ve been having. They were very light, not that demanding, so the girls could recuperate as early as possible.”

Mamelodi Sundowns recently also won the inaugural African Football League in the men’s game. The club was previously owned by Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Patrice Motsepe. He shifted ownership to his family, once he took up his role as head of the African game.

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