Downs accept second CAF final a bridge too FAR

SA champs dethroned

- By Sihle Ndebele

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies coach Jerry Tshabalala has taken their failure to defend the CAF Women’s Champions League title on the chin.

Sundowns were humiliated 4-0 by the hosting nation’s AS FAR in the final in Rabat on Sunday. The Moroccans broke the deadlock as early as the 15th minute when their star Fatima Tagnaout converted from the spot after Togolese referee Vincentina Amedomé penalised Downs skipper Zanele Nhlapho for tripping one of FAR’s attackers inside the box.

Downs were reduced to 10 players when striker Rhoda Mulaudzi was sent off for a horrific challenge in the 36th minute. The referee initially issued the Downs striker with a yellow, before changing her mind after checking the VAR monitor. Ibtissam Jraïdi’s second half hat-trick sealed the deal for AS FAR. Tshabalala has accepted the defeat, saying AS FAR deserved the trophy.

“Congratula­tions to AS FAR. They deserve the win... they played better than us. I can’t fault my girls. We gave everything that we could but in a game of football you have three results; you win some, you lose some and you draw some. Unfortunat­ely today it wasn’t our day and I would say we’ve lost with pride. We have lost to a better team,” Tshabalala said.

Before conceding a whopping four goals in the decider, the Brazilians had leaked just one goal all tournament, scoring an impressive 12 in the process. Tshabalala insisted they learnt lessons from the defeat, vowing they’ll bounce back and win this tournament again in future.

“We need to go back and look at ourselves. However, we have learnt a lot from this game and we will go back home and rectify our mistakes. It is sad to lose by a heavy margin but not all is lost. We will bounce back strongly and be the champions again,’” the Sundowns trainer said.

 ?? /BACKPAGEPI­X STAFF /WEAM MOSTAFA ?? Sundowns players are inconsolab­le after losing to AS FAR in Rabat on Sunday.
/BACKPAGEPI­X STAFF /WEAM MOSTAFA Sundowns players are inconsolab­le after losing to AS FAR in Rabat on Sunday.

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