Football and indeed sports of any form is competition, entertainment rolled into one. It is passion and it is passionate. It could trigger joy and could trigger sadness at various times.
It is a mood changer and the more you want to look away the more you are drawn into it by intrigues and uncertainties that surround it.
Last weekend Ghana and South Africa took the centre stage after they met in the world cup qualifiers. A penalty awarded to the Black Stars of Ghana which ultimately gave them victory over visiting Bafana Bafana and in pushed South Africa out of the battle for tickets to the 2022 World cup in Qatar. How painful.
The controversy that followed that penalty has not rested and in fact World soccer ruling body is at the moment having the file on its table after calls from South Africa for a replay.
And only yesterday, less than a week later the two countries met again this time in Cairo and this time not the men but the ladies.
And again not the national team per se but the clubs that emerged champions at home and took their battle for supremacy to the continent in the first ever CAF Women’s champions league .
Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa and Hasaacas Ladies of Ghana slugged it out. Both team fought had to hit the final in competition which also featured Nigeria’s representatives Rivers Angels who crashed out early.
Back to Friday’s final it was Mamelodi Sundowns who emerged victorious beating Hasaacas Ladies 2-0 to win the title of the first edition of TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League in what looked like table turning victory considering that only last weekend it was Ghana that sang victory song.
Hasaacas Ladies Coach Yussif Basigi of course was not happy with the defeat having planned to consolidate on weekend’s victory so to say, hear him
“It’s unfortunate that we did not win. We came in with the intention of wining, but it was almost impossible. We will be ready to win the next edition of WCL”.
“My centre backs had to cover more for the half backs. I never taught my players to set offside traps, so the second goal did not happen because of that”.
“The next edition will surely be tougher; we came here and saw it all. Everyone will go back and get stronger for the next time”.
“It’s historic for us to be in the final, because others came and go, but we stayed”.
Victorious Mamelodi Sundowns coach Jerry Tshabalala had a lot to celebrate as initial fear of losing due to slight mistakes disappeared with the last whistle.
“I was afraid we were not clinical enough, but today we were marvelous. I’m very happy of my girls”.
“I spoke to Mgcoyi and told her that she needs to bring it to the party, and that’s what she did. I’m proud of her and the whole team”.
“I saw how Hasaacas Ladies played before. I needed to press them with three strikers. Lucky enough, they are not taller than us. We had confidence playing our football, and we frustrated Hassacas Ladies even though they played good football”.
“We came to this tournament and saw the level of competition, I assure you next time, it will be even tougher”.
“We are the first team the WCL and we did it without conceding a goal”.
Mamelodi Sundowns Forward Andisiwa Mgcoyi who emerged Woman of The Match said “When we won COSAFA and qualified to the WCL, I wanted to be in the wining team”.
“I thank God for all of this. I was so stressed today when I woke up, because I was worried I couldn’t help my team from the beginning of the tournament. Also my coach needed me to help the team, this means so much to us. We wrote our history. They will not remember Mgcoyi, they will remember Mamelodi Sundowns”.
“To be the first team that wins WCL is huge. Women’s football is growing in Africa, and it’s a good thing for us to be role models for young girls”.
That is the way it is. Today you win the next day you may not win in sports and as for the next edition of CAF Women’s Champions League it will definitely be tougher and it is expected that every team that participated will go back home and re-strategise because it will definitely be a cracker.