Nigeria’s Rivers Angels fail Mamelodi Sundowns’ test, on CAF WCL tightrope

The Nigerian champions were looking to become the winners of the inaugural edition of the continental tournament, but they are close to having that dream dashed

Rivers Angels are at the risk of getting knocked out of the CAF Women’s Champions League after falling to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns inside the WE Al-Ahly Stadium in Cairo, Egypt, on Tuesday.

The reigning Nigerian champions knew before kickoff that only a win would brighten their chances of qualifying from Group B after losing their matchday one clash 3-0 to Morocco’s FAR Rabat. Sanaa Mssoudy smashed a hat trick in that encounter at the El-Salam Stadium in Cairo, Egypt.

But Rivers Angels were the brighter of the two sides in the early stages against Sundown until the seven-time Nigerian league winners were pegged back by a goal from 30-year-old South African defender Zanele Portia Nhlapho in the 16th minute.

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Angels boasted a bunch of Super Falcons stars in Vivian Ikechukwu, Ugo Njoku, Oluwatosin Blessing Demehin, and Gift Monday. Still, they found their South African counterparts a hard nut to crack.

And despite the introduction of Chiamaka Okwuchukwu and Precious Christopher in the second half, the Edwin Okon-tutored ladies could not muster the equaliser.

The latest result leaves the Nigerians bottom of their group with no point while Sundowns go top with six points.

In the other group game, Vihiga Queens forced a 2-0 defeat down the throat of FAR Rabat to shrug off their opening day defeat to Mamelodi Sundowns. Both teams boast three points apiece.

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Rivers Angels next face Vihiga Queens in their last group match on November 12 at the 30 June Air Defence Stadium, Cairo, and will need a huge win to stand any chance of progressing to the semifinals of the competition.