She Corporate on the brink of history

Joanita Ainembabazi must lead the hunt for goals. PHOTO/COURTSEY 

What you need to know:

Simba come with the favourites tag having beaten The Sharks in the group stages last week. They also have the better stats. Simba have scored 17 goals and conceded just once in four games. Corporate have scored 16 times and conceded thrice.

She Corporate have it all to do today in the finals of the Cecafa region Caf Women's Champions League qualifiers in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

All odds are against the Fufa Women Super League (FWSL) champions who face home side Simba Queens in what should be a pulsating final for a berth in November's tournament in Morocco.

Simba come with the favourites tag having beaten The Sharks in the group stages last week. They also have the better stats.

Simba have scored 17 goals and conceded just once in four games. Corporate have scored 16 times and conceded thrice.

Midfield battle

Associate head coach Charles Ayiekoh felt his Sharks over respected Simba when they met last week. His charges, tasked with becoming the first Ugandan team to qualify for the Champions League, could hardly get anywhere near Kenyan midfielder Vivian Aquino Corazone.

But in the 2-1 semi-finals win over Central Bank of Ethiopia, a side more adept at hogging possession, the decision to allow forwards Anitah Namata and Joanita Ainembabazi drop to offer support in midfield seemed to allow She Corporate compete in the middle of the park.

"We knew that CBE wanted to keep the ball so we rested players in the last group game and prepared to disrupt their rhythm and close spaces," Ayiekoh said.

Ayiekoh and his colleague Hassan Isa could deploy a similar approach to reduce Simba's influence in central areas - especially because the home side will have a huge backing from the local crowd and could be under pressure to keep the ball.

The approach might reduce Corporate's propensity to create chances upfront - another issue that Ayiekoh complained about in the first meeting.

But it will allow them move forward as a unit and utilize the few they get as they managed to do in certain situations against CBE.

Attitude is everything 

"Beyond the technical approaches, the reason you win such high stakes games is attitude.

And my players gave their all in the semis and I hope they maintain the same in the finals," Ayiekoh rallied.

She Corporate have already gone one better than Lady Doves, who finished third in the inaugural Champions League qualifiers last year, by making it to the final.

There must also have been a lot of words of encouragement in their camp already but if She Corporate need another reminder, it is that: when Kenyan champions Vihiga Queens qualified for the Champions League last year, they did so by winning a final against a CBE side that had beaten them 4-2 in the group stages.

She Corporate just need to continue with the trend.


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