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CAF Women's Champions League

Hosts Abidjan hold Casablanca in 2023 CAF Women’s Champions League opener

Espérance Agbo scored the first ever goal at Stade Amadou Gon Coulibaly as Athlético d’Abidjan drew 1-1 with Sporting Club Casablanca in the opening match of the CAF Women’s Champions League on Sunday.

Agbo netted on 37 minutes to give Abidjan the lead before Nadège Nguessan Koffi levelled late on for the Moroccans in an entertaining Group A clash.

 Coach Lancina Dao’s side showed no fear against their illustrious opponents, taking the game to Casablanca from the start of the match.

Nguessan Nadege Koffi of Sporting Club Casablanca celebrates goal with teammates during the 2023 CAF Womens Champions League finals match between Athletico Abidjan and Sporting Club Casablanca at Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium in Korhogo on 05 November 2023 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Melissa Behinan almost opened the scoring before Agbo clinically found the bottom corner to write her name into Abidjan folklore.

But Casablanca emerged rejuvenated after the break as captain Koffi slammed in a sensational long-range equaliser with nine minutes left.

Neither side could find a winner as the points were shared, leaving the group intriguingly poised.

“We had control but the late goal spoiled the party a bit,” Dao said. “We must stay focused and remember the positives.”

Her opposite number Mehdi El Quichori acknowledged his side’s disjointed display.

“There were two faces of Casablanca. We have things to fix before facing JTK Queens,” the Casablanca coach said.

Behinan, who was named player of the match, felt she could have decided the game for Abidjan.

“I’m happy to be named player of the match but I feel I should have done more for us to win,” the winger said.

With the tournament having eight teams with four per group, both sides will now target victory in their remaining group games to advance to the semi-finals.

But Abidjan and Agbo have already made an early mark on Africa’s premier women’s club competition.

Post-match comments:

Lancina Dao, coach of Atlético d’Abidjan:

“We had the game in hand, this goal scored towards the end of the match spoiled the party a bit but we are not dead. We will have to stay focused and remember that positive” .

Mehdi El Quichori, coach of Sporting Casablanca:

“There was a two-faced SC Sporting Casablanca. We may have been surprised by the number of supporters. There were a lot of people at the stadium. It was not an easy game. Atlético d’Abidjan put us in great difficulty with their deep play and their passes behind the back. We will have to correct certain things before the match against the JTK Queens.”

Melissa Sandrine Behenian, Woman of the Match:

“We owe it to our nation to have fun. I’m happy to have been named player of the match but I tell myself I should have done more for my team to win today.”

Credit: CAF 

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