Mamelodi Sundowns made ease of the work in their opening match of the CAF Women’s Champions League Cosafa qualifiers.
Andisiwe Mgcoyi scored a hat-trick as South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns lit up the opening day of the tournament in Durban with a resounding 6-0 win over Lesotho Defence Force on Thursday.
The teams are fighting not just for regional bragging rights, but also a place at the CAF Women’s Champions League that will be staged in Egypt later this year, with only the top team in Durban to book their ticket.
Double Action of Botswana also had a good start to Group A as they beat Manzini Wanderers of Eswatini 3-0 in the opening game.
Sundowns came into the tournament as among the favourites and showed their quality against a very good LDF side.
They had too much firepower up front, with the tall Mgcoyi, recently returned from playing in Europe, showing her predatory instincts in the box.
She opened the scoring and fellow Banyana Banyana international Rhoda Mulaudzi added a second inside the first 20 minutes.
LDF got to grips with the game after that, though they never really troubled the Sundowns defence, and it wasn’t until after the hour mark that Sundowns scored again. A quick burst of two goals from Mgcoyi and one from Melinda Kgadiete saw them net three times in nine minutes.
Lesotho international Boitumelo Rabale finished off the game with a superb free-kick in injury-time against her fellow countrywomen, blasting the ball into the back of the net from all of 30-yards.
Double Action and Manzini Wanderers made history as they played the first ever game in the regional Champions League competition.
It was Double Action who ran out comfortable 3-0 winners to give an early sign of their potential as they showed good skill and trickery on the ball.
They opened the scoring on 27 minutes via Laone Moloi, who was slipped in on goal with a beautiful through-ball and made no mistake with the finish.
They had to wait until 10 minutes into the second half when another fine move saw midfield playmaker Lesego Radiakanyo double the advantage. They added one more near the end when Gaonyadiwe Ontlametse put the cherry on top of an excellent opening display.
The action continues on Friday when the three-team Group B gets under way with a single fixture that will see Green Buffaloes of Zambia take on Black Rhinos Queens of Zimbabwe.
Both these teams will fancy their chances of topping the pool, and the result here may go a long way to deciding that. TURA Magic from Namibia, the third team in the pool, are only in action on Sunday.
The top two teams in each of the groups advance to the semifinals, which will be played on September 2.
By Wonga Sirayi
FARPost’s KZN Reporter