Telkom women’s club will face a daunting task in reclaiming the Africa Cup for Club Championship title when they play defending champs Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in a repeat final at the Abuja stadium, Nigeria on Saturday at 2 pm as USIU-A hunt the bronze medal.
Telkom unbeaten run came to a crush in their last round-robin pool fixture against the defending champions who needed to win that match to get a shot at defending the title they won at home soil with a similar 1-0 score.
GRA finished second, displacing short-lived Ghana Police who hoped GRA fell to Telkom to earn the final slot but a win for GRA meant Ghana Police will be contesting for the bronze medal against USIU-A instead.
USIU-A, on the other hand, secured a first win, which lifted them from the 5th/6th playoff zone to the third/fourth playoff cut. The win was their first in their maiden appearance in the continental event after a track of mixed results, a 1-1 stalemate over Delta Queens of Nigeria and two losses to GRA and their oncoming opponent Ghana Police.
USIU-A lost 3-1 to Ghana Police in their preliminary encounter but will be looking at turning tables at the Law Enforcers when they meet again at 12 pm.
Nine-time champions Telkom will be banking on their cup final experience for their tenth on neutral ground against the one-time champs whose debut dates back to 2012.
In the previous edition played on January 27, Telkom lost their four-year dominance in the women’s competition after losing the title to GRA in the last quarter courtesy of a 58th-minute goal by Roberta Sarfoa at the Theodosia Okoh hockey stadium in Accra Ghana.
Telkom will depend on their goal scoring machines Jaqueline Mwangi, Audrey Omaido and Barbara Simiyu for their record tenth title hunt.
Telkom head coach Jos Openda was concerned with their second-half endurance having struggled in their third and fourth pool matches before losing to GRA.
Telkom first loss will act as a lesson for the ladies who maximised yesterday as an off day to correct on their playing structures.
“My target coming out here was to win without conceding a goal and maintain our composure of taking championships unbeaten but we are now taking it in strides and work on our mistakes ahead of the crucial one. We knew we definitely had to be in the finals to win the cup so we want to see how we can throw them off early, maintain our calm and then have the attack going on,” said Openda.