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Another South African obstacle for Nigeria as Rivers Angels draw CAF president’s club in CAF Women’s League

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Barely a week after South Africa’s women’s team, Bayana Bayana beat the Super Falcons 4-2 at home in what has become the team’s biggest home defeat, another South African hurdle awaits Nigeria in women’s football.

The reigning Nigerian Women’s Premier League champions, Rivers Angels have been drawn to face the South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns in the group stage of the Caf Women’s Champions League.

The Mamelodi Sundowns team is the women’s squad of the club owned by CAF president, Patrice Motsepe.

Also drawn in the group are ASFAR Club of Morocco and Kenya’s Vihiga Queens FC in Group B.

The draw ceremony which served up plenty of interesting match-ups took place on Wednesday at the CAF headquarters in 6 October City which is a satellite town to Cairo

The ceremony was conducted by CAF’s Director of Competitions, Samson Adamu.  He was assisted by another Nigerian,  African football great Perpetua Nkwocha and Egypt women’s national team star Alia Zenouki.

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Hosts Wadi Degla FC will have their hands full when they take on Mali’s AS Mande, Ghana’s Hasaacas Ladies and Equatorial Guinean side Malabo Kings FC in Group A.

Wadi Degla and AS Mande will kick off the series on November 5 at the June 30 Stadium in Cairo.

Patrice Motsepe owned Mamelodi Sundowns Queens will set Group B alive when they tackle their Kenyan opponents the following day at the Cairo Military Academy Stadium.

Reacting to the draw, Zenouki – who is the captain of Wadi – stated that her team’s group would be very competitive, however, she is keen on seeing her club emerge as champions.

“I think all of the teams are so good. They have won their domestic league and their respective qualifiers for this tournament,” she said.

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“So, I think it will be so competitive and I can’t wait to play and see how the game goes. We will do our best to keep the cup in Egypt.”

Four-time African Women’s Player of the Year Nkwocha described all the teams in Group B as ‘good’ but sees her former team Rivers Angels and Mamelodi Sundowns making it to the knock-out stage.

“I think that group it’s gonna be tough because all the teams that have qualified are good teams,” the former Sunnana SK disclosed.

“However, I believe in Rivers Angels because I have seen them play in [in recent times]. I feel Rivers Angels and Mamelodi Sundowns will come out of the group.”

The 2021 CAF Women’s Champions League takes place from November 5 to 19.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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