Bayelsa Queens goalkeeper Ange Gabrielle Bawou believes her team’s strong winning mentality was key to their turnaround following a 2-0 victory over TP Mazembe on Thursday.
The WAFU-B champions suffered a disappointing 2-1 defeat against title holders Mamelodi Sundowns in their opening match at Grand Stade de Marrakech earlier on Monday.
The Nigerians bounced back with a hard-fought win over the Congolese and the Cameroonian, whose goalkeeping heroics won her Woman of the Match, refused to take credits for the award.
“I wasn’t expecting to get this award. It’s a real surprise. I have to credit this award to teamwork above all,” Bawou told CAFOnline.com.
“The loss (to Sundowns) hit us very hard. When we came to this game, we didn’t expect to lose, we came to win. But that defeat pushed us, we came with a winning mentality today.
The Tout Puissant Mazembe were confident, they had won their previous game. We were up against the wall, we had to win. This award was just an illustration of our thirst for victory.”
When asked about the reception and treatment since joining the Nigerian champions in 2021, the Cameroon international had nothing but positive remarks about her Yenagoa-based club.
“The Bayelsa Queens team is a family. As soon as you sign you become part of this family,” she said.
“I was very welcome in this team. They have team spirit, group spirit. That’s why my performances are good because I feel comfortable in this team.”
A crucial final group match against Wadi Delga beckon on November 6 for the Nigerian champions and Bawou is confident they will finish on a high to guarantee their progression.
“I think the loss of the first game has made us vigilant and we want to devour everything in our path,” she admitted.
“We were hurt in our pride and we want to make up for what happened in our first game, so we will give our best to achieve our goals.”
She will look to continue in her rich vein of fine form when Bayelsa Queens face the Egyptian giants in a must-win tie at Stade Moulay Hassan in Rabat.