She Corporate in early Simba Queens test

Phiona Nabbumba will be key in the She Corpoates' midfield. PHOTO/JOHN BATANUDDE 

What you need to know:

  • Both sides opened their campaign to qualify for the continent showpiece expected later in the year in Morocco by whitewashing their opponents Yei Joint Stars (South Sudan) and Garde Republicaine (Djibouti) respectively 6-0 on Sunday and their coaches insist only qualification will make this tournament worth it.


Fufa Women Super League (FWSL) champions She Corporate and Tanzanian side Simba Queens clash today with an aim of topping Group B of the Cecafa region Caf Women's Champions League qualifiers in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

Both sides opened their campaign to qualify for the continent showpiece expected later in the year in Morocco by whitewashing their opponents Yei Joint Stars (South Sudan) and Garde Republicaine (Djibouti) respectively 6-0 on Sunday and their coaches insist only qualification will make this tournament worth it.

The Sharks are only making their first appearance at this level and will know little about Simba as a collective but some of their players like Phiona Nabbumba, defender Margaret Namirimu and goalkeeper Daphine Nyayenga will have a lot of ideas about a number of Simba players from the Cecafa Women Championship which Uganda won in June at Fufa Technical Centre, Njeru.

Others like Joanita Ainembabazi, Naume Nagadya, Phoebe Banura, Spencer Nakacwa and Stella Musibika have also been around the fringes of several national teams to know what to expect.

Simba players like Fatuma Issa, Aminah Ramadhani and Opa Clement Tukumbuke represent Tanzania while Aisha Djafari and Joelle Bukuru where in finalists Burundi's squad that also went to the Women's Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco last month.

Nabbumba at task

"It is our first time at this stage so to open with a 6-0 win is great but there is more work to do," associate head coach Charles Ayiekoh, said after their match in recognition of the fact that their tests will come today and at the business end of the campaign.

He singled out midfielder Nabbumba, who grabbed a brace against Yei, for praise and it is likely she will be the one they turn to this afternoon.

"Having been with the national team, she has probably decided to raise her level and we can all see the effect of that on the team. Hopefully, everyone else pushes more in the coming games," Ayiekoh, who is sharing coaching roles with Hassan Isa, said.

Despite their likely dominance on Republicaine and Yei, both Simba and Corporate will be keen to win today to avoid a potential semi-final clash with Central Bank of Ethiopia, who also have a bag of experienced stars and are primed to dominate Group A.

As the tournament progresses, it might also come down to which side is more motivated and that is where the Corporate coaches and administration will need to pull up their socks.

CBE and Simba already have a lot to prove after missing out on qualification last year when Kenya's Vihiga Queens pulled through. CBE are facilitated by a government institution while the President of Tanzania Samia Suluhu Hassan is said to have huge interests in the progress of Simba Queens.

CAF WOMEN'S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

CECAFA QUALIFIERS

GROUP B

Simba Queens (Tanzania) vs. She Corporate, 2pm

Garde Republicaine (Djibouti) vs. Yei Joint Stars (S. Sudan), 5pm

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