LDF Ladies to take on Mamelodi Sundowns

LDF Ladies to take on Mamelodi Sundowns

MASERU – Lesotho Women Super League (WSL) champions Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) Ladies will take on South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns in their first game in the inaugural COSAFA Women’s Champions League set to start next Thursday.
COSAFA released the full fixture for the one week tournament on Monday and LDF could not have asked for a tougher opponent for their opening fixture.

The draw for the event in South Africa was held a few weeks ago and the army side have known their Group A opponents for some time and have had time to prepare for them.
Besides Mamelodi Sundowns, who are group favourites and have been tipped to win the entire competition, LDF will face Double Action Ladies from Botswana as well as Manzini Wanderers from Eswatini.
Group B is made up of three teams, Green Buffaloes from Zambia, Black Rhino Queens from Zimbabwe as well as TURA Magic of Namibia.

Two teams from each group will progress to the semi-finals and the winner will qualify for the first-ever CAF Women’s Champions League to be staged in Cairo, Egypt later this year.
LDF Ladies have been at work preparing for the tournament and now they know who they are going to face preparations will be different. Besides Sundowns, the other two teams are relatively unknown to LDF Ladies.
The Lesotho champions, however, are also an unknown quantity and they could use it to their advantage to spring surprises in the group.
Last week COSAFA released Manzini Wanderers’ training squad and it includes national team players such as Welile Ndwandwe and Thandeka Mbatha amongst others.

Nonetheless, LDF have national team players as well, and looking at the group, they do have a chance to progress to the semi-finals if they can get results against Double Action Ladies and Manzini Wanderers.
The WSL champions will be led by Lengana Nkhethoa with head coach Lehloenya Nkhasi not available due to army duties.
LDF last played in the Dare To Dream Championship last month where they lost the final to Kick4Life Ladies and have only been training since then. They are unlikely to have any friendly matches from outside the country before their Champions League campaign starts due to the coronavirus situation.

Mamelodi Sundowns, on the other hand, have been active playing the Super League and will be more match ready than LDF when the two teams lock horns next week. Sundowns head coach Jerry Tshabalala is quoted on the COSAFA website saying winning the group will give them a fair chance to go to Cairo.
“What we just need to do is to go out there and win our group,” Tshabalala said.
“By winning our group it gives us a fair chance to be able to put one foot into Cairo. I believe the girls are looking forward to this one. We have been given a chance to go out there to showcase our talent as Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies and to see if we can’t emulate our men’s team to bring the star back home.”

Tlalane Phahla

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