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By Tshepo Ntsoelengoe

Football Journalist

Tshabalala lauds gritty Sundowns after Champions League victory

"I said we needed to suffocate them with a high-intensity," said the Downs Ladies coach.

After claiming their second Caf Women’s Champions League title, Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies coach Jerry Tshabalala says he was happy that his side managed to keep the pressure on Sporting Casablanca from the start of Sunday’s final.

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Sundowns secured a 3-0 win over Sporting at Amadou Gon Coulibally Stadium in the Ivory Coast, with Refilwe Tholakele grabbing a brace, while Boitumelo Rabale got the other goal.

Meeting Sporting in the final was expected to be demanding for Sundowns Ladies, but Tshabalala is happy with the way his team managed to carry the load.

“I was not expecting the girls to keep the same intensity they started with,” he said.

“When you look at the first 15 minutes, I said we needed to suffocate them with high intensity, the reason being that we knew that they played extra time and went to penalties (in their semifinal).

So, chances were they would be tired. I think that worked for us, but in terms of the girls bringing more energy from their tanks, I think it comes from the training sessions.

“Our training sessions have been light, not demanding. So, the girls could recuperate as early as possible.”

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Tholakele, who has been impressive throughout the tournament, says she is just happy to be part of Banyana Ba Style.

“I’m really happy, this is what we wanted. I know that we made history as a team and I’m just happy to be part of this team. We have been working really hard at training and pushing each other to go beyond our limits because we wanted to lift the trophy,” Tholakele added.

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