Mozambique side Costa do Sol will be making their debut at the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League | COSAFA Qualifier in 2022 and will provide something of an unknown quantity for their opponents.
The team will open their campaign against defending champions Mamelodi Sundowns on August 8, before a clash with Botswana outfit Double Action Ladies four days later.
They will hope to spring a surprise, with only the top team in the pool advancing to the final, and the second placed sides to contest a bronze-medal match.
The ultimate goal for all teams in the competition is not just to lift the trophy, but also qualify for the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Champions League finals that are due to be played in Morocco later in the year.
The Costa do Sol team are coached by Ismael Hagy and he is confident that they will shock many people in the competition.
“It is a given fact that we will face the champions, that is the reality. We will work to counter Sundowns’ favourites tag,” coach Hagy says. “I am aware that playing with the best, we will learn and grow as a team. It was good that our paths cross on the first matchday, football is made of surprises, and everything is possible!
“We are prepared and without fear of our adversary, but of course we have respect for the African champions. The motivation is great and the girls are determined.”
The Costa do Sol club is also known for his basketball programme, but they have made great strikes in recent years with their women’s football side.
It is a young group of players with many aged 21 or younger, and the club is a regular supplier of talent to the Mozambique women’s national team.
Many of them have been regular visitors to the COSAFA Women’s Championship over the years, including striker Ninika and midfielder Goia.
Most of their team are born in Maputo, though they have also had young 15-year-old goalkeeper Malaika in their squad. She was born in Johannesburg and will turn 16 the day after this year’s COSAFA Women’s Champions League final.
There are six teams contesting the COSAFA Women’s Champions League this season, with Mozambique not having an entrant in the inaugural year in 2021.
Costa do Sol also have a hugely successful means team that has won major championships and competes regularly in CAF continental club competitions.