- Simba Queens won two matches in the group stage
- They are making their debut in the competition
- Defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns have also qualified
CECAFA Region representatives Simba Queens have made it into the semi-final of the second edition of the CAF Women’s Champions League after edging out Zambia’s Green Buffalos 2-0 in their final group match.
The victory by Simba, which follows up a similar win over Liberia’s Determine Girls, takes them to second spot in group A with six points, three behind home side AS Far who have won all their group matches.
Head coach Charles Lukula was delighted with the victory and says he is confident his girls can challenge for the top honors and go all the way to lift the title.
“It was a fantastic win because we got it right. I knew it was going to be a tough game and knew they were going to pack the defence so I made my good players stay on the bench,” the coach said after his team’s win over Buffalos.
He added; “After the first half and realizing it is still goalless, I started pouring in some attackers because they were already tired and were chasing the ball in the whole first half.”
Meanwhile, the coach is bullish of the chances of a trophy.
Bullish of title chances
“I’ve started thinking about the trophy, I can win the trophy because I have a better team. I didn’t come here to make the numbers but to make a mark and I’m feeling confident I’m going to win this trophy although this is my first time, I trust my team 100 per cent to achieve it,” the Ugandan coach said.
Against Buffalos, Simba knew they had to win to make the last four and they started off with earnest. They however couldn’t find the back of the net in the first half despite some half chances.
In the second half, they upped the tempo and in the 64th minute they broke the deadlock when Asha Djafari flew in a diving header from a Fatima Issa cross from the edge of the area.
The goal pumped in some adrenaline for the Tanzanian team and they played with more confidence. The Zambian side offered some resistance as they tried to level the tie, but they couldn’t crack a watertight Simba defense line.
It was the red side of the game that would add the next goal, this time Opa Clement calmly slotting past the goalkeeper after a Buffalos defender brushed a header backwards as she tried to cut out a goalkick.
Earlier on, home side AS Far made it three wins in three matches as they beat Determine Girls 2-0 to remain undefeated having earlier on beaten Green Buffalos 2-1.
Oumaima Harcouch and Ibtissam jraidi scored the two goals for AS Far in the second half as they made it into the semis for the second consecutive time.
Simba to face off with Sundowns
For the last eight, Simba have been pitted against defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies who progressed on a 100pc record after edging out debutants TP Mazembe 4-0.
Zanele Nhlapo scored from the penalty spot for a 1-0 lead in the first half before Lelona Daweti gave them a 2-0 lead at the break with her fourth goal of the tournament.
Melinda Kgadiete then sealed the win for the Brazilians with the third goal in the second half.
The other side to make the last four from Group B is Nigeria’s Bayelsa Queens who finished second after edging out Egypt’s Wadi Degla who finished bottom of the group with no single win.