Ruthless Asfar dethrone Sundowns Ladies as African Champions after royal thumping

The Moroccan club were crowned the new African champions on home soil after thrashing Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies 4-0 in the final of the Caf Women’s Champions League second edition.
Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies are not used to losing. Never mind losing 4-0. However, that’s what happened when the 2021 African champions were dethroned by Morocco’s Asfar in the final of this year’s Caf Women’s Champions League on Sunday night.
The hosts of the second-ever edition of the premier club competition for Africa’s female footballers went into the final as slight favourites over the defending champions, boasting home advantage and support.
They didn’t disappoint, helped by Sundowns Ladies’ ill-discipline — which resulted in a converted penalty as early as the 13th minute.
Sundowns’ comeback efforts would take a further knock after forward Rhoda Mulaudzi was handed a red card on the half-hour mark.
With seven minutes played in the second half and the score at 1-0, the misery of the South Africa side was compounded as skipper Zanele Nhlapho received her second caution of the match and was subsequently sent off.
It helped hat-trick heroine on the night Ibtissam Jraïdi, as well as electric winger Fatima Tagnaout, run rings around the outgoing champions, before the Moroccans eventually sealed the tie with a comfortable 4-0 triumph.
“They deserve it. They played better than us today. I can’t falter my girls. We gave everything. It’s all in the game of football, which has three results. It’s either you win, lose or draw. Unfortunately, today wasn’t our day. But we lost with pride and to a better team,” said Sundowns coach Jerry Tshabalala after the humbling defeat.
The loss ended Masandawana’s nine-match unbeaten run since the inception of the tournament a year ago, which had seen them win seven and draw two.
Ironically one of the two sides they had failed to beat was Asfar, who they were grouped with last season. During that draw, they also failed to break the Moroccan team’s defence as the contest ended nil-all.
Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations
However, Tshabalala said there wasn’t much to read into the two clashes, as they represented two different goals for the team, at different times.
“The previous match we were not at a point where we needed to fight as hard as we could. We just wanted a point. Today it was a different game, whereby we needed to give it our all — which we did. It’s ...