Opa turns CAF Champions League jewel

FUTURE is bright for Simba Queens’ Opa Clement who was named a woman of the match during the CAF Women’s Champions match against Green Buffaloes at the Grand Marrakech Stadium in Marrakech on Saturday.

Opa Clement is also keen on trying her luck abroad after seeing her presence influence Simba Queens’ qualification to the semi-final of this year’s CAF Women’s Champions League.

The Tanzania international had suited up for Turkish side Kayserispor, scoring five goals in 10 matches during her brief spell before reuniting with Simba for the CECAFA qualifiers.

The 21-year-old has been the instrument in the Tanzanian champions’ revival after back-to-back wins over Determine Girls and Green Buffaloes guaranteed their semi-final place.

The forward was named the Woman of the Match following her contributions, notably a 79th minute matchwinner in the 2-0 win against Buffaloes and she is excited about guiding her side into the last four.

“I am very happy to win the Woman of the Match award. I thank God and my teammates for win and getting through to the semi-final,” said Clement during the post-match conference.

“If I get a chance to go abroad again, I will go. The good thing is that I have come here and everyone around the world is watching me.

“I think if I can do well here, I will get that chance, then it will be a good opportunity for me.”

Reacting, Green Buffaloes coach Charles Haalubono was at loss of words after elimination.

He was left dumbstruck after seeing his side suffer an early exit from the CAF Women’s Champions League following a 2-0 defeat against Simba Queens on Saturday.

The Zambian Army made a strong start to the tournament, with a 4-0 thrashing of Determine Girls, before squandering a one-goal lead to lose 2-1 to host AS FAR at Stade Moulay Hassan.

In their final and decisive Group A game, the COSAFA champions were bounced out of the competition by second-half goals from Aisha Djafari and Opah Clement and even the Zambian tactician struggled to sum up what he had just seen.

“It is a bit difficult to explain I think the girls tried but were not good enough. We didn’t create enough scoring opportunities. This was the problem we had,” Haalubono said during the post-match press conference.

“Our opponents got few chances and utilised them. We did our best but it was not close to what was required for us to win.”

When questioned about his unenterprising formation, the 43-year-old manager holds a contrary view, with some explanations.

“In this game, you cannot stick to attack or defence formation. We moved as a block. When we got a ball our passes were not all that good to connect from one player to the other to reach our opponents’ goal area. That’s where we missed it,” he continued.

They got the goals in the second half but I think it was those lapses in the defence as they couldn’t organise themselves.

“They crossed the ball which was the first means they managed to score and the second was a one-on-one situation where my defendant was overpowered as she couldn’t withstand the power, she lost the style and the striker went ahead to score.”

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