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Xiomara Mapepa Shines in Green Buffaloes’ Draw in CAF Women’s Champions League Opener

Xiomara Mapepa Shines in Green Buffaloes' Draw in CAF Women's Champions League Opener

In an eventful opening match at the 2023 CAF Women’s Champions League| COSAFA Qualifiers, Green Buffaloes Women’s Football Club showcased a mix of promise and challenges. The match, characterized by a debut goal from Xiomara Mapepa, lacked creativity and suffered from poor officiating, ultimately concluding in a 1-1 draw against Double Action Ladies of Botswana.

The game took an unexpected turn within just 43 seconds as Lesego Radiakanyo of Double Action Ladies netted a well-executed header, capitalizing on a momentary lapse in Buffaloes’ defense. The early setback prompted a determined response from the Zambian Champions.

Although facing an early deficit, Green Buffaloes seized control of the game but struggled to convert their possession into clear-cut opportunities. Aisha Mbwana, Buffaloes’ goalkeeper, was called into action in the 40th minute to thwart a breach in their defensive line.

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The halftime whistle saw Coach Carol Kanyemba Daka making strategic changes, introducing Xiomara Mapepa and Natasha Nanyangwe for Joana Benaya and Maweta Chilenga. Mapepa, in her debut appearance for the Zambia army-sponsored team, wasted no time making her mark. Within just five minutes of stepping onto the pitch, she found the back of the net, taking advantage of a lapse in the Double Action Ladies‘ defense.

Green Buffaloes continued to push for a winner throughout the second half but struggled to break through Double Action Ladies‘ resilient defense, squandering several opportunities in the process. The match was marred by contentious officiating as Referee Maria Rivet turned down two apparent penalty appeals, leaving Buffaloes frustrated.

The final whistle signaled a 1-1 draw, leaving both teams with a point each. Green Buffaloes’ next challenge comes against Ntopwa FC on Friday, September 1st, followed by a crucial group match against Lesotho Defense Force on Monday, September 4th. These fixtures will unfold at the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium.

The tournament’s structure dictates that only the winning club of this qualifier will progress to the continental competition, slated to be held in the Ivory Coast from November 5th to 19th. With high stakes in play, Green Buffaloes and their fans are eagerly anticipating their journey through the tournament.

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Starting XI for Green Buffaloes Women’s Football Club vs. Double Action:

  • Aisha Mbwana 🧤
  • Martha K Banda
  • Loveness Malunga (Diana Banda 73′)
  • Lushomo Mweemba
  • Memory Nthala
  • Judith Zulu
  • Comfort Selemani (Salome Phiri 73′)
  • Joana Benaya © (Natasha Nanyangwe 46′)
  • Maylan Mulenga (Agnes Phiri 86′)
  • Eneless Phiri
  • Maweta Chilenga (Xiomara Mapepa 46′)

Unused Substitutes:

  • GK. Ngambo Musole
  • Esther Banda
  • Lubasi Pumulo
  • Margaret Chisenga
  • Namute Chileshe

As Green Buffaloes gears up for their upcoming clashes, the team’s performance will undoubtedly be closely watched by fans and enthusiasts eager to witness their journey in the tournament. The draw, while not the ideal start, signifies a platform for growth and improvement as the championship progresses.

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