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CAF Women’s Champions League: Sundowns and hosts ASFAR set for final following semifinal wins

The 2022 CAF Women’s Champions League final many expected to happen came to fruition on Wednesday evening in Morocco after defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies and host club ASFAR advanced past their semifinal opponents. Each of the favorites won 1-0 with Sundowns defeating Tanzania’s Simba Queens and ASFAR edging Nigerian club Bayelsa Queens to set up Sunday’s anticipated final in the Moroccan capital of Rabat. Simba Queens and Bayelsa will meet on Saturday in the Third Place match.

It was not an easy match for reigning champions Sundowns, who had to contend with a scrappy Simba Queens side determined to upset the odds. Sundowns goalkeeper Andile Dlamini saw an early long range effort zip just past the post of her goal from Simba midfielder Vivian Odhiambo and then the shot stopper had to come up big to deny an open look for Simba in the second half. Despite being the first team to hold the South African giants scoreless through the first half, however, a positive result was not meant to be for Simba after Boitumelo Rabale was set up by Melinda Kgadiete for a beautiful curling strike in the 76th minute.

In Wednesday’s later semifinal Nigerian club Bayelsa Queens were seen as many experts before the tournament as a team capable of perhaps reaching the final but ASFAR navigated a difficult opponent to join Sundowns. ASFAR held off a series of chances for Bayelsa in the opening quarter hour before a moment of quality propelled the Moroccan club to victory. Ibtissam Jraidi collected a pass from Fatima Tagnaout on the left wing in the 27th minute, turning and firing past Bawou Gabrielle in the Bayelsa goal for the match’s lone goal. ASFAR held off a strong attempt to get back in the match from the Nigerian club and will look to defy the odds against powerhouse Sundowns.

Highlights from both semifinal matches are below.

Scores

Semifinals

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies 1-0 Simba Queens

ASFAR 1-0 Bayelsa Queens

Highlights

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies 1-0 Simba Queens

ASFAR 1-0 Bayelsa Queens

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