On Sunday afternoon, a tantalisingly mouth-watering football match comprising of the best talents South Africa has to offer, is set to be played at UWC Ladies’ infamous ‘Operation Room’, where the hosts entertain the freshly-crowned CAF Women’s Champions League winners, Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, hoping to continue their stellar record in the Hollywoodbets Super League, claiming nine wins and only suffering a single defeat to TUT Ladies on home soil.
In other action, coach Simphiwe Dludlu’s TUT Ladies are in red-hot form, aiming for eight consecutive victories when they travel to the East Coast of Mzansi to lock horns with Durban Ladies who are full of confidence following impressive displays against JVW FC and UWC Ladies.
After a midweek clash against ‘Africa’s finest’ (Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies), coach Ciara Picco’s JVW FC return home and play host to a well-rested Thunderbirds Ladies outfit, hoping to close the gap between themselves and UWC Ladies on the log standings.
Sunday 28 November
Durban Ladies 7/1 | Draw 33/10 | TUT Ladies 1/1 (15:00)
Coach Nkululeko Ntombela has got his team singing the perfect tune over last past week. Taking on JVW FC and UWC Ladies within a few days is no easy task. Collecting four points and a clean sheet deserves massive credit against two clubs that I personally rate very highly, boasting a handful of Banyana Banyana and Basetsana (Under-20) stars within their ranks.
Durban Ladies surprised a JVW FC team who rotated their squad and were caught cold in the first half with four goals, but then replied with three of their own in the second half, however, the damage was already done with the hosts claiming the spoils in a 4-3 humdinger that certainly deserved to be played in front of a packed King Zwelithini Stadium.
In Cape Town, UWC Ladies players were put to the test in a cagey affair that ended goalless at the Vasco Stadium. Interestingly, the only team to beat UWC Ladies in the Western Cape come to town this weekend.
TUT Ladies have been in imperious form under coach Simphiwe Dludlu scoring 20 goals and conceding just twice enroute to claiming seven straight wins. The visiting team will be hoping to finish second behind Sundowns, for this season, with UWC Ladies hot on their heels.
When these teams last met in Tshwane, TUT Ladies edged out a 1-0 win thanks to a Tiisetso Makhubela goal. While the team carry the confidence from last weekend’s 5-0 victory over Golden Ladies.
Last weekend my suggested bet was Durban Ladies to play out to an entertaining goal-filled draw with JVW FC, but they eventually went on to win. This time around, I’m not making the same mistake, select Durban Ladies to Win or Draw at 7/4 odds in the Double Chance market.
UWC Ladies 5/1 | Draw 5/2 | Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies 11/20 (15:00)
The champions are in the Mother City but I’m afraid it’s hostile territory for 90 minutes. Every single player and coach must inevitably have admiration for what Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies achieved by writing their names in the history books and flying the South African flag proudly by winning the inaugural edition of the CAF Women’s Champions League.
However, for the time spent on a football pitch these desirable titles have now painted a massive bullseye on the back of the Hollywoodbets Super League champions. Everyone is gunning to defeat the champions or at the very least, try their best to shine against them individually in order earn a move to Masandawana, who are the best team on the continent.
UWC Ladies head coach, Thinasonke Mbuli, also serves our nation as assistant coach to Desiree Ellis at Banyana Banyana, so we’re talking about cream of the crop in this matchup. Any mention of “cream of the crop” deserves to be followed up with the name of Sibulele Holweni.
Wow! What an amazing footballer! Holweni has me at the edge of my seat every time she dons a South African shirt. 15 Goals in 17 appearances since her debut against USA (2019) at the Levi’s Stadium highlights the trajectory that the 20-year-old’s career is heading in. In a few years, my humble opinion is, Holweni will become a regular at a team that competes in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
UWC Ladies attacking midfielder Noxolo Cesane and goalkeeper Regirl Ngobeni featured alongside Sundowns spearhead Melinda Kgadiete and centre-back Bambanani Mbane in South Africa’s 13-0 victory over two legs in our first-round qualifier for the upcoming CAF Women Cup of Nations tournament.
So, it’s safe to say these players know each other very well. UWC Ladies captain Bongeka Gamede will marshal the defence ahead of goalkeeper Regirl Ngobeni, while in form Molatelo ‘Nemo’ Kobo will be looking to further impress.
Here’s what UWC Ladies head coach Thinasonke Mbuli said prior to the match: “Our team goal at the beginning of the season was to do better than the previous season and I can firmly say we are a better team this year and we have achieved that and beyond.
The past few weeks have been challenging and difficult weeks for us, back-to-back catch-up games, playing away back-to-back and our key player not honouring fixtures due to exams – I mean as a coach I’m really pleased with the application and the way the ladies adapted to the situation we still have tough games in hand so I’m confident enough that they will do their best in the remaining fixtures.”
To be the best, you have to beat the best… At the moment, Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies is the benchmark. Select UWC Ladies to conquer the champions of Africa and claim maximum points.
JVW FC 6/10 | Draw 24/10 | Thunderbirds Ladies 9/2 (15:00)
Coach Ciara Picco’s JVW FC return home after three fixtures on the road away at Durban Ladies, Tsunami Queens (Harrismith) and Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies (Pretoria), to host Thunderbirds Ladies at the Tsakane Stadium in a match set to be broadcasted live.
Thunderbirds Ladies come into the clash well-rested after having last weekend’s clash against Ma-Indies Ladies postponed. According to the ‘Birds social media pages: There was a miscommunication in terms of the venue. The fixture indicated Jan Smuts Stadium instead of the Sisa Dukashe Stadium, so the opponents and the referees went to Jan Smuts Stadium as per the fixture circulated.
When these teams met six months ago at the Sisa Dukashe Stadium, the ‘Blue Diamonds’ edged out a 1-0 victory. Thunderbirds Ladies were down to 10 players after Angel Magutshwa was shown a red card for a late tackle on defender Cyndy Ndhlovu. Meanwhile, 19-year-old midfielder Isabella Ludwig clinically finished off a Gabriela Salgado cross from the right-flank to score the solitary goal that decided the match.
Philisa Mjambane and the rest of coach Thembalethu Alpeni’s charges are always prepared to get stuck in and it will make this a challenging contest, although, with the added experience of Janine van Wyk who’s enjoying a purple patch in term of scoring goals, my money is JVW FC.
TREBLE @ 16/1
Durban Ladies Win or Draw 7/4
UWC Ladies Win 5/1
JVW FC Win 6/10