Defending champions AS Far will face South African outfit Mamelodi Sundowns in the semi-finals of the CAF Women’s Champions League after they secured a 2-0 victory over Mali’s AS Mande on Sunday.
The victory saw the Moroccan side finish Group B equal on six points with Ampem of Ghana. An unfortunate own goal by Fatou Dembele in the 5th minute plus a well-converted penalty in the 37th minute by Fatima Tagnaout meant the north African nation finished the group stage campaign with six points, equal with Ampem Darkoa of Ghana, who have a better goal difference.
The results mean there will be a north vs south clash in the semi-finals when the defending champions meet last season’s silver-medallists, Sundowns in the semi-finals on Wednesday. With their backs against the wall following a nervy start to the competition, the defending champions seem to have finally found the rhythm to set up what promises to be an exciting clash against the South Africans.
AS Far coach Mohamed Amine Alioua said after the game: “We are not thinking about the match against the Mamelodi Sundowns, we are going to recover and prepare for this match. We have qualified and that is the most important thing,” adding: “It is clear, it is the state of mind and the determination which made the difference. There was no pressure, but big respect for the opponent. We didn’t want to think much about the previous matches and I thank AS Mandé for their rivalry and their state of mind on the pitch”.”
Meanwhile, AS Mandé’s coach said: “We have to admit that we played badly. We played badly and we lost. It’s a good tournament and we will ask the authorities to increase the number of teams so that we can attempt to reach the quarter-finals, the semi-finals, and perhaps the final. There was no cohesion today and I’m in pain”.”