Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies head coach Jerry Tshabalala says he doesn’t want to label his side’s CAF Women’s Champions League semi-final victory over ASFAR Club on Wednesday as “revenge” after they lost last year’s final to the same team.
A Boitumelo Rabale second half strike ensured that Sundowns dethroned the Moroccan-based outfit as defending champions, while they stayed on course for a second title in three years.
The semi-final in Korhogo was a repeat of last year’s final where the Brazilians were thrashed by ASFAR to lift the trophy.
Tshabalala told iDiski Times that the only focus on his charges’ mind was to win the game like any other match.
“We normally don’t play for revenge,” Tshabalala told iDiski Times.
“We won’t say it was revenge but it was one of those games that was just similar to any other game.
“I guess the game was just hard because of both teams, the other one [Sundowns] were the 2021 champions and the other [ASFAR] were champions in 2022.
“So basically there was nothing like revenge from our side. The focus was just to win the game from our side.”
Tshabalala also stated that the rising competition at home in the Hollywoodbets Super League has helped his team to come back stronger after last year’s final defeat.
“The difference was that, I think my team we wanted it the most and we knew what it meant for us to win,” he added.
“Also the difference is the experience gained from previous tournaments and the kind of games that we have back at home. Those kind of experiences they shaped us for this one and they made a huge difference when it came to yesterday’s game.
“As well it was tactical. The tactical aspects of the game was a huge difference I mean if you look at how ASFAR applied themselves, we were tested, we tested in many ways and I’m glad we responded well.
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“We managed to contain their strength which is certain individuals in the team that make the team tick and we managed to contain them.”
Sundowns will play Sporting Casablanca, who defeated Ampem Darkoa on penalties in the other semi-final, in Sunday’s final. Downs beat their opponents 1-0 in the group stages already.