Someone who knows what it takes to win a continental title is goalkeeper Andile Dlamini, maintaining her tournament-long clean sheet for Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies to secure their second CAF Women’s Champions League win, beating Morocco’s SC Casablanca in the Ivory Coast-hosted final on Sunday, 19 November, 2023.
Dlamini was flawless throughout the tournament, keeping clean sheets throughout the Sundowns Ladies campaign at the Stade Amadou Gon Coulibaly, in the Ivory Coast, and it was clear to see just how much this win meant to Dlamini.
In a direct-to-camera dedication caught on CAF TV right after the ref’s whistle blew time on the final, Dlamini shared her emotions straight to camera:
“We did it for guys, we did it for the young girl who believes in us. We don’t talk too much but we work on the field, that is who we are! We are Mamelodi Sundowns, we are South African, and we are proud.”CAF Women’s Champions League Goalkeeper of the Tournament, Andile Dlamini
“Thank you so much, Ivory Coast and your people, you are beautiful.”
Dlamini said that it was truly a team effort, not only got Sundowns Ladies the title but also their unbeaten run.
“It was a beautiful one as much as it was a difficult one, the people from Ivory Coast were behind us even after we beat the host (Athletico D’Abijan). They were super, super welcoming.
“I believe we brought out the best in each other, we had a lot players who were not there and we were playing for them as well. It’s so unfair to get an injury but we needed to go there and just play for them. The defence did well at keeping clean sheets, and not just saying myself, or Zanele, or any one who was playing at the back, but it’s also the team who plays in front, because it’s starts there,” said Dlamini.
“People overlook defenders, I feel that every defender that was called upon did a great job in keeping those clean sheets, I am not the only one, it was a team effort, and when you keep clean sheets, you win trophies.”Andile Dlamini
Dlamini has come a long way since her debut for Banyana Banyana back in 2011 and she has certainly earned her nickname ‘Sticks’.
The goalkeeper will also play an integral role for the national team, as Desiree Ellis’ troops hope to qualify for 2024 Paris Olympics. South Africa secured a 3-1 aggregate win over DR Congo in the second round of qualification. They are yet to learn their next opponent is.
But before then Dlamini and her current African Cup of Nations champions team will be taking on Burkina Faso in a two-leg tie, to secure their place in next year’s competition in Morocco. They will first play Burkina Faso away on Thursday, 30 November 2023, with the return leg will be on 4 December, at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.
Main Photo caption: Boitumelo Rabale (left) won the 2023 CAF Women’s League’s ‘Best Player of the Tournament’ award after playing an instrumental role in guiding her side to the finals of the competition, Andile Dlamini (centre) won the Goalkeeper of the Tournament Award, and the Top Goalscorer of the Tournament was awarded to Refilwe Tholakele (right) for her total of five goals. Photo: CAF Online
Photo 2 Caption: Dlamini added the 2023 CAF Women’s League Goalkeeper of the Tournament Award to her 2022 CAF Women’s Goalkeeper accolade, after keeping five clean sheets across all matches. Photo: Puma South Africa on X
Photo 3 Caption: The wildly popular Dlamini has come a long way since her debut for Banyana Banyana back in 2011, and she has earned her nickname ‘Sticks’. The goalkeeper also plays an integral role for the national team, in Desiree Ellis’ troops hoping to qualify for 2024 Paris Olympics, Photo: Andile Dlamini on X