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It’s do or die battle for Vihiga at continental tourney in Cairo today

FOOTBALL By Mike Kihaki | November 6th 2021
Vihiga Queens' Captain Enez Mango and Hafidha Ali of Zanzibar's New Generation during the Inaugural edition of the CAF Women Champions League CECAFA Qualifiers match at the Moi International Sports centre Kasarani. Sept 3, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

A tough tie awaits Vihiga Queens as they clash with South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns in their opening Group B match of the CAF Women’s Champions League 2021 tournament at Al Salam Stadium in Cairo, Egypt, today at 4pm.

Vihiga Queens, the three-time Kenyan Women Premier League champions, who beat CBE of Ethiopia 2-1 in the Cecafa qualifiers in Nairobi to secure a ticket to the continental showpiece, will no doubt have a mountain to climb in Egypt.

Enez Mango, the Vihiga Queens captain, termed their maiden appearance into the continental stage as a dream come true.

Yesterday, Military Academy Stadium hosted Group A matches and the final group will be held at 30 June Stadium.

Mango said it’s perfect moment to prove their mettle to the football world. “It is such a huge thing for us. When we started, we couldn’t have thought of such a feat. We were just playing football to showcase our talents as well as enjoy ourselves. Now we have achieved something big and this brings joy to all of us,” Mango told CAF online.

But Sundown striker Rhoda Mulaudzi seems to give Charles Okere's charges a run for their money.

“We are the champions of the Cosafa region, which I believe we did well as a team. We represented our country well and now we are going for a big one. I hope we will play together as a team,’’ said Mulaudzi.

Queens will face Morocco’s ASFAR Club in the second group game three days later on Tuesday before taking on Nigeria’s River Angels in the last Group B match on Friday.

Vihiga will rely on the services of the prolific trio of Maureen Achieng, Jentrix Shikangwa and Tereza Engesha when they clash with the South African giants this afternoon.

Sundown seeks to break new ground and raise South Africa’s women’s club football profile especially after enjoying an unbeaten season in the inaugural SAFA Women’s Soccer League.

The Kenyan girls are in Group B alongside South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, ASFAR (Morocco) and Nigeria’s Rivers Angels. Group A comprises hosts Wadi Degla and Mali’s AS Mande.

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