CAF Women’s Champions League: Bayelsa Queens Battle Simba Queens In 3rd Place Clash
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By Agency Report
Tournament debutants Bayelsa Queens and Simba Queens are facing each other for the first time.
This game represents the second time that a club from Nigeria meets a team from East Africa at the CAF WCL Finals, in 2021 Bayelsa Queens rivals Rivers Angels and Kenyan club Vihiga Queens met at the group stage.
In the only other clash between a team from Nigeria and East Africa, Rivers Angels recorded at the time what was the largest win at the finals, winning their final group game 4-0 against Vihiga Queens in 2021.
This is the first game beyond the group stages between a team from West Africa and a team from East Africa at the finals.
At the current group stages Simba Queens defeated West African opponents Liberian outfit Determine Girls 2-0 in their second group game, this is their second meeting with West African opposition. While Bayelsa Queens are up against East African opponents for the firs time.
This game is the third meeting between WAFU and CECAFA representative clubs thus far each zone has one win, with Rivers Angels defeating Vihiga Queens in 2021 and Simba Queens winning at the current tournament against Determine Girls.
Both teams made tournament history as they became the first teams at the finals to lose their opening game and then win their next two group games, they also joined Equatorial Guinean side Malabo Kings. As part of a trio of clubs who lost their opening group game but managed to reach the last four, Malabo Kings in 2021 lost their first group game to Hasaacas Ladies but managed to still reach the last four.
At senior CAF Women’s tournament’s the Nigerian national team has thrice participated in the bronze medal game at the WAFCON they managed to win on penalties in 2008 against Cameroon but lost to the Cameroonians in 2012 and Zambia in 2022.
At senior CAF Women’s tournament’s Simba Queens are just the second team from East Africa to have reached the last four and participate in the play-off for third. Along with the Ethiopian women’s national team faced Ghana at the 2004 WAFCON in the bronze medal match, the game ended 0-0 before Ghana won 6-5 in the shoot-out.
This will be the second 3rd and 4th place play-off game at the CAF WCL Finals, the only other bronze medal game at the finals saw Moroccan side AS FAR defeat Malabo Kings of Equatorial Guinea 3-1 on the 18th November 2021 at the 30th June Stadium in Cairo.
At the 2021 finals in the play-off for third place AS FAR took the lead through Fatima Tagnaout in the 10th minute, Malabo Kings levelled in the 50th minute through Carol Carioca, a brace of goals in the 61st minute and two minutes into referees optional time at the end of the game. From Ghizlane Chebbak saw AS FAR through to a 3-1 win.
Should the game go to a penalty shoot-out it will be the second game at the CAF WCL Finals to go to be decided on spot kicks, along with Mamelodi Sundowns win over Malabo Kings in the 2021 Semi-finals.
The last 16 games at the tournament have produced a winner, the last game to end in a draw was Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies 0-0 game against Malabo Kings in the 2021 last four.
The Nigeria club started off the tournament with a 2-1 loss to defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, they then won 2-0 against TP Mazembe and 3-0 against Wadi Degla to reach the last four. Where they were narrowly beaten by AS FAR 1-0.
Bayelsa Queens became the first team at the CAF WCL Finals to score a goal against Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, they remain the only team to have done so when Mary Anjor netted in the 81st minute of their 2-1 loss to them in their opening group game.
Of the six goals that Bayelsa Queens have scored at the tournament five different players have managed to get on the scoresheet only Mercy Itimi scorer of a second half brace against Wadi Degla has scored more than one. While Mary Anjor, Ogoma Joseph, Grace Chinyere and Juliet Sunday have each scored one.
Bayelsa Queens dominated the game despite their loss to AS FAR in the Semi-final by dominating possession they had 60.5% of the ball, they also had five shots on target more than the hosts who had three on target.
In their Semi-final loss to AS FAR Bayelsa Queens completed 423 passes by comparison AS FAR managed 287.
Uzoamaka Igwe made a game high 57 passes in the match against AS FAR, of the five shots on target that Bayelsa Queens had on target in the loss to the Moroccans three were taken by Glory Edet.
Victory for Bayelsa Queens will see them win their third game at the tournament, they will be the second team from West Africa to win three games at the Finals along with Hasaacas Ladies who won three at the 2021 edition.
Irrespective of the outcome of the natch, both teams will pocket $200, 000 for reaching the semi-final
The match will hold at the Prince Heritier Moulay El Hassan Stadium, Rabat on Saturday by 8pm WAT