Football

Simba Queens, She Corporate battle for Champions League ticket

Poster - CECAFA Official
  • The winner of the final will qualify for the CAF Women’s Champions League
  • Simba are looking towards the home advantage
  • Kenya’s Vihiga Queens are not competing

Home girls Simba Queens will take on Uganda’s She Corporate in the final of the CECAFA Regional Qualifier for the CAF Women’s Champions League on Saturday evening in Dar es Salaam.

This will be the second edition of the Women’s Champions League and the East and Central Africa (CECAFA) region will have a new representative with defending champions Vihiga Queens of Kenya failing to travel to defend their title due to Kenya’s current FIFA suspension.

Simba Queens will look to make the most of their home advantage to earn the ticket for the final tournament, just like Vihiga did last year when Kenya hosted the competition.

The home girls thrashed Rwanda’s AS Kigali 5-1 in the semis to progress to the grand finale.

Kenyan international Corazone Aquino scored twice as Simba ran riot. Aquino netted a goal in either half with the other three scored by Diana William Mnally, Aisha Juma Mnuka and Opah Clement.

Aquino in red hot form for Simba

Corazone Aquino celebrates a goal

Corazone Aquino celebrates a goal during a past match. PHOTO/CECAFA

Aquino has now scored four goals in four matches for Simba in the tournament, having joined from Gaspo Queens last month.

It will be a repeat of the group stage when the two sides meet, with Simba having won 2-0 to finish unbeaten in the pool phase of the competition. The Ugandan girls will be coming out for revenge and looking to upset the form books.

They will come into Saturday’s tie with confidence especially having beaten pre-tournament favourites Commercial bank of Ethiopia 2-1 in the semis. Phiona Nabbumba scored the winning goal for Corporate in the 75th minute, less than quarter of an hour after CBE’s Loza Abera had cancelled out Anitah Namatta’s 20th minute opener with her 10th goal of the season.

Simba coach Sebastian Leonard Nkoma is confident that his girls have what it takes to win the duel and earn a ticket to the final tournament and he has called on his charges to give in their best in the tie.

“Last year we stopped at the semi final stage, but this time the team is highly motivated to win and qualify for the CAF Women’s Champions League. We have performed well so far and we have shown everyone what we are capable of. It is now time to put the talk to the pitch,” the tactician said.

Simba have scored 15 goals and conceded only one in the entire tournament and they are keen to finish on a high.

Simba high scoring side 

Simba Queens

Simba Queens line up before one of their matches

Captain Suleimani Issa Fatuma said: “We call upon our fans to come and cheer us during this final. We have prepared well and we promise not to let them down.”

Uganda’s She Corporate, making their debut in the tournament will not come in lying low like envelopes but have promised to break the home girls’ hearts.

“We are not in the final by mistake, but we have worked hard and still stand a chance to lift the trophy. We need to get our tactics correct well knowing we shall face a team that beat us in the group stages,” said coach Charles Lukula Ayiekoh.

The Ugandan side started their campaign with a 6-0 win against Yei Joint Stars (South Sudan), and suffered defeat to Simba Queens FC. They recovered to beat the Djibouti side 8-0 and produced a tactical masterstroke to see off Commercial Bank of Ethiopia at the semi final stage.

Besides the cash prizes at stake for the top three teams, the She Corporate will also be motivated by the promise made by the Uganda FA President Moses Hassim Magogo to reward the team incase they lift the trophy.

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