GREEN Buffaloes coach Charles Haalubono was on Saturday night left disappointed with his team’s elimination from the CAF Women’s Champions League after losing to Tanzanian side Simba Queens in the last Group A match in Morocco.
Buffaloes only needed a draw to book a place in the last four, but Simba dug deeper to remain in the competition that will see the winners pocketing US$400,000 and US$250,000 for the runners-up.
Moroccan side ASFAR, who beat Liberian outfit Determined Girls 2-0, topped the group with nine points, three better than runners-up Simba, while Buffaloes finished third with three points. Determined Girls ended without a point.
After making a strong start to the tournament with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Determined Girls, Buffaloes lost 2-1 to ASFAR and sank 2-0 to Simba. Second-half goals from Aisha Djafari and Opah Clement were all Simba needed to eliminate the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations champions.
“I think the girls tried but we were not good enough. It is a bit difficult to explain,” Haalubono said in a post-match interview. “The problem we had was that we didn’t create enough scoring opportunities.”
He said Simba Queens got few scoring opportunities and utilised them. “In this game, you cannot stick
to attack or defence formation.
We moved as a block. When we got the ball, our passes were not all that good to connect from one player to the other and reach our opponents’ goal area. That is where we missed it,” Haalubono said.
The 43-year-old coach, however, chose to pick positives from the elimination, saying his team has learnt a lot from the tournament.
“We came here to learn and our target was to reach the semifinals because we were going to play more games. However, it was good for us even at this level, we have come to meet different teams with different experiences and exposure,” he said.
Haalubono said some of his players were competing at a high level for the first time and have picked valuable lessons. The teams made lively starts with several scoring opportunities created but to no
After a scoreless first half, Simba, the Council of East Africa Football Associations queens, got a breakthrough in the 64th minute when substitute Asha Djafari’s glancing header off a cross from Fatima Issa beat goalkeeper Aisha Mbwana.
After conceding, Buffaloes upped the tempo and attacked through Irene Lungu and Hellen Chanda but the Tanzanians were solid at the back. Simba doubled the advantage when Opah Clement outpaced Buffaloes defenders and placed a low shot past Mbwana in the 79th minute.
That is how Buffaloes’ journey at the CAF Women’s Champions League ended
Credit: Zambia Daily Mail