Group B kicked off with its first set of fixtures at the 2022 CAF Women’s Champions League in Morocco on Monday, a matchday that saw defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies take on Nigerian champions Bayelsa Queens in an intriguing matchup. Sundowns overcame their opponents in a hard fought 2-1 win for a successful opening to their title defense. In Monday’s later matchup Egypt’s Wadi Degla were surprised by competition debutants TP Mazembe as the Congolese side earned three points from a 1-0 victory.
Sundowns and South Africa national team goalkeeper Amanda Dlamini had to be at her sharpest to keep the South African club from going down early on but the favorites provided a moment of quality to take the lead soon after the half hour mark when Lelona Daweti headed in Thelea Smidt’s cross. Daweti doubled Sundowns’ lead early in the second half when a pass from Melinda Kgadiete split the Bayelsa defense and Daweti slipped her shot past Queens keeper Bawou Gabrielle. Mary Anjor pulled one back for Bayelsa in the 85th minute with an excellent finish but Sundowns held on for three points.
2021 hosts Wadi Degla were expecting a strong start but came up against a strong Mazembe side in the second match. Merveille Kanjinga got the Congolese club off and running in the 7th minute by heading in a cross from close range. It took some time for the Egyptian club to play themselves into the match and Mazembe never let their opponents snatch control of the proceedings. With the victory Mazembe will take plenty of confidence heading into matches against Group B’s stronger teams.
Highlights from both of Monday’s matches are below.