CAF Women’s Champions League: Bayelsa Queens lose opener to Mamelodi Sundowns

Nigeria’s flag bearers in the 2022 CAF Women’s Champions League in Morocco, Bayelsa Queens, got off to a losing start on Monday against the Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies team.

Despite creating a handful of goal-scoring opportunities, Bayelsa Queens lost 2-1 to Mamelodi Sundowns in their group opener. A goal in each half by Lelona Dawetti saw the defending champions cruise to victory.

Even though Bayelsa Queens pulled one back through Mary-Magdalene Anjor in the 80th minute, it was scant consolation after having more possession and shots on target.

Though Sundowns Ladies won the 2021 CAF WCL without conceding a single goal in their five games in the tournament, they looked quite vulnerable at the back against Bayelsa Queens who have themselves to blame for not being clinical enough.

It was the Nigerian Ladies that dominated the game in the first half, but it was Sundowns that scored through Dawetti with their first shot on target and the South Africans held on to the slim lead going into the half-time break.

The Prosperity Girls, as the Bayelsa Queens are fondly called, continued their dominance in the second stanza but were let down by their final touch.

After a string of missed chances by the Nigeria flag-bearers, Dawetti found a way again as she doubled her side’s lead before Anjor halved the deficit and gave Bayelsa Queens a lifeline late in the game.

Hard as they tried, the Nigeria champions could not get the equaliser they sought and will now have to shift focus to Thursday’s second group game against TP Mazembe.

There will be disappointment in the camp of the Bayelsa Queens as they looked like a team that had a knack for goals in the build-up to the Champions League, but they failed in their group opener.

During the WAFU B qualifiers, Bayelsa Queens scored 17 goals; conceding just one goal and in their final warm-up game before the tournament. They defeated Racing Athletic Casablanca 11-0.

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