Mamelodi Sundowns: South Africa's pacesetters in glory hunt

Mamelodi Sundowns winners of the 2021 Total Energies CAF Womens Champions League COSAFA Qualifier final match between Black Rhinos Queens and Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies at Goodwill Zwelithini Stadium, Durban, on

Established by owner Patrice Motsepe, on 4 September 2009, Mamelodi Sundowns are considered as the pacesetters following their domestic successes in South African women's football.

Before winning the inaugural SAFA Women's Soccer League in 2020, Sundowns previously won twice the then Sasol National League Championship (now called Hollywoodbets Super League) in 2013 and 2015.

To clinch a joint-record third title, Masandawana cruised to victory with 21 wins from as many matches, scoring 82 goals in the process, with international stalwarts such as goalkeeper Andile Dlamini and striker Rhoda Mulaudzi playing huge roles in the incredible unbeaten feat.

As South Africa's sole representative, they went on to emerge victorious in the inaugural COSAFA Women's Champions League in September 2021, recording five wins and scoring 22 goals to grab the lone regional ticket to the finals.

As I work with Coach Jerry and the technical team, I believe that we can bring the highly coveted title home. Agnes Nkosi

In Egypt, the Brazilians aim for a strong showing in efforts to mount calls for top-flight men's football clubs to create women's teams and Mulaudzi, whose 36 goals led Downs to 2020 triumph on her fourth stint, dreams of continental glory.  

"We are the champion of the COSAFA region, which I believe we did well as a team, and we represented our country well, now we are going for a big one, which I believe we will play together as a team," Mulaudzi who also started with the club in 2009, told CafOnline.com. 

"We as Mamelodi Sundowns normally have a winning mentality whenever we go out for a game or tournament, we do not go out to just be part of it, we go there to compete, we make sure we go to overcome – reaching the final. 

"I believe we can do it, though this is a different stage, it is no longer COSAFA, it is a different game now. I believe in our strength, team spirit, talents, experiences and maturity in our midst, which I believe is good for us and would help us. 

"We are going there not to undermine anyone, but we are going there to bring the trophy back home and we are ready for this new challenge."

Melinda Kgadiete of Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies celebrates goal with teammates during the 2021 Total Energies CAF Womens Champions League COSAFA Qualifier semifinal1 match between Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies and Green

Sundowns are on the brink of a record fourth domestic title - all under the watch of head coach Jerry Tshabalala since 2012 and his assistant coach Agnes Nkosi also shares her optimism about their chances at the inaugural TotalEnergies Women's Champions League.

"As you have seen from the recent games we have played in the Hollywoodbets Super League, the girls are ready to stamp their authority in the CAF Women's Champions League as quickly as possible," said the Downs former defender and CAF C licence holder.  

"In the last two or three games, we have faced very tough opposition and we expect such challenges from our group opponents in Egypt. One thing I can tell you is that the motivation within the camp is high. 

"During our training sessions, the girls are always giving their best. I am very certain that the team is ready for the challenge ahead. We are going to Egypt to represent the Mamelodi Sundowns brand, our fans, the nation of South Africa and the Southern African region. 

"As I work with Coach Jerry and the technical team, I believe that we can bring the highly coveted title home.”

In hunt for glory, the COSAFA champions will begin their Group B campaign against Vihiga Queens of Kenya on November 6, before a date with Rivers Angels of Nigeria three days later and AS FAR of Morocco on November 11.