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Mamelodi Sundowns-SC Casablanca: All to play for in CAF Women’s Champions League finals

Kholosa Biyana of Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies challenged by Salma Miftah and Chaymaa Mourtaji of Sporting Club Casablanca during the 2023 CAF Womens Champions League finals match between Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies and Sporting Club Casablanca at Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium in Korhogo on 08 November 2023 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

 

For the third time in a row, Mamelodi Sundowns will play in the final of the CAF Women’s Champions League. The South African champions have to once again, come face to face with SC Casablanca, the same team they edged 1-0 in the group stages.

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Facing a Moroccan club in the finals will not be new for coach Jerry Tshabalala’s side, after they were thrashed 4-0 by AS Far in the finals of last season.

The South Africans have come out a much stronger side in this season’s edition with the likes of Melinda Kgadiete, Andile Dlamini and Lerato Kgasago being instrumental in Sundowns’ impressive run to the final.

Their opening match saw them overcome JKT Queens 2-0 before edging SC Casablanca 1-0 in their second match ahead of their 3-0 thrashing of hosts, Athletico Abidjan.

The semi-finals saw them get an opportunity to avenge last season’s heavy defeat in the final when they faced AS Far, whom they sent packing with a 1-0 victory to set up Sunday’s encounter against another Moroccan side.

The South Africans had a faultless run. Four wins, seven goals scored and zero goals conceded.

Looking at their opponents, SC Casablanca may be a young side, but they are very much determined to cause an upset and retain the trophy in Morocco for a second season running.

Founded in 2019, SC Casablanca will be playing in the CAF Women’s Champions League final for the very first time.

Coach El Qaïchouri Mehdi’s charges got their campaign off to a slow start but did well to bounce back and secure a place in the finals.

Their opening match was against the hosts, Athletico Abidjan whom they held to a 1-1 stalemate before facing Sundowns in their second match, which ended 1-0 in favour of the South Africans.

In a must win encounter against JKT Queens played in San Pedro, the Moroccans triumphed their opponents 4-1 to secure a place in the semi-finals where they had to dig deep against a spirited Ampem Darkoa to come back twice from behind in a 2-2 draw that concluded with them booking their place in the finals through a 3-2 penalty shoot out.

To date, SC Casablanca has scored seven goals just like Mamelodi Sundowns. In four matches, they have conceded four, have two wins, a draw and a defeat.

 

 

 

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