South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns will meet Ghana’s Hasaacas Ladies in the first-ever Women’s African Champions League final on Friday in Egypt.
Hasaacas Ladies had become the first side to reach the final as they beat Morocco’s AS FAR 2-1 in Monday’s opening semi-final in Cairo.
Later Mamelodi Sundowns needed penalties to overcome Malabo Kings from Equatorial Guinea as the second semi-final ended goalless after 120 minutes.
After 90 minutes of stalemate, both sides had chances to win the game in extra time, as substitute Thalea Smidt hit the bar with a long-range effort for Sundowns.
Then with the final action of the game Bambanani Mbane made a crucial tackle on Bella Rose, who had broken behind the defence and looked set for a one-on-one chance against Sundowns’ keeper Andile Dlamini.
Sundowns then had the chance to win it with their fifth penalty after Cameroonian defender Salome Nke’s effort had hit the post for the Kings but Nigerian keeper Ruth Sunday saved Chantelle Esau’s effort.
The game was won on the sixth spot-kicks as Bongiwe Thusi scored but another Cameroonian Florence Fanta fired wide for the Kings to spark the celebrations for the South African side.
Earlier on Monday in the first of the day’s semis at Cairo’s Al-Salam Stadium saw Hasaacas take the lead after 35 minutes when Doris Boaduwaa rose highest to head down and past AS FAR keeper Khadija Er-Rmichi.
The Moroccans drew level on the stroke of half-time as Najat Badri beautifully volleyed home to convert an excellent cross from Fatima Tagnaout following fine work down the right.
Hasaacas were awarded a penalty in the 59th minute by Rwandan referee Salma Mukansanga after she had been advised to watch replays by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), which African football’s ruling body Caf had introduced for both the semi-finals and final.
Mukansanga ruled that Evelyn Badu had been fouled by Er-Rmichi after the keeper failed to properly control a back-pass, but Perpetual Agyekum’s spot-kick hit the post and she was unable to react quickly enough to convert the rebound.
Hasaacas eventually scored their second in the 76th minute as Boaduwaa turned provider as her long cross was headed home by the stooping Evelyn Badu, as the 19-year-old claimed her fifth goal of the tournament.
“We feel great, this is a dream coming true for us,” Hasaacas Ladies captain and player of the match said after the game.
“When we missed the penalty, we thought something was wrong with us. But then we pushed through and won. We are looking forward to the final game, whoever they are, we are ready for them.”
AS FAR now play Malabo Kings in the third place play-off which is set for Thursday.
“We were not lucky today, but I thank the girls for their efforts and we learnt a lot from this tournament,” Abdallah Haidamu the AS FAR coach said.
“We want to win the third place medal and not go home empty handed. We will try and prepare the girls to concentrate on the next match.”
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