It’s the final before the final, says Tshabalala
Downs Ladies eye semifinal win over Simba Queens
Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies mentor Jerry Tshabalala views their CAF Women’s Champions League semifinal against Tanzanian side Simba Queens as a final before the final.
Sundowns rounded off their group stages campaign in fine style when they humiliated Congolese side TP Mazembe 4-0 in Marrakech on Sunday, ensuring they top the pool with an intact winning record.
Simba finished second behind the side from the hosting nation, Morocco, AS Far.
The semifinal between these two sides is at Stade Moulay Hassan in Rabat tomorrow (9pm SA time)
“Everybody was looking forward to the Sundowns v Simba final. One thing I like about Simba is the fact that they play the ball around.
“I respect Simba... they’ve got strong players in the middle of the park.
“They know how to break the lines. So basically, it is going to be the toughest game of this competition but we are ready for them.
“We’ve got a plan for them and hopefully our plan will pan out the way we want it to,” Tshabalala stated.
The Sundowns coach implied Simba will be a wellrested side when they face off but refused to use that as an excuse, relying on their squad depth to help them overcome fatigue.
“In terms of periodisation, you look at how Simba played yesterday [on Saturday] and rested [Sunday].
“We played today at 8pm and we have to travel to Rabat [from Marrakech] and we have to play again at 5pm [tomorrow],” Tshabalala said.
“We don’t have enough time to rest as a team but if you want to be the champion of Africa, this is what you must expect in the Champions League.
“We have a very big squad and we will do our level best to overcome all the challenges we are facing.”
Zanele Nhlapho, Lelona Daweti, Melinda Kgadiete and Salome Kekana were all on target against Mazembe.
This left Tshabalala pleased, underlining the importance of having multiple sources of goals as a team.
“It’s good that we had four different scorers. It’s good for the team. You can’t have a team whereby you are relying only on your strikers [for goals].
“This gives us confidence as the technical team to see that all our players can score. We are a free-scoring team and we are excited about it,” Tshabalala said.