In a thrilling display of soccer prowess, the battle for the top slot in Group A of the Caf Women’s Champions League Cecafa Qualifiers is heating up. Buja, known for finding goals as elusive as a missing sock, have barely scraped through their matches, achieving a slim 1-0 victory over Yei and a nervy 2-1 win against KQ. However, they also suffered the misfortune of leading against CBE, only to end up nursing a 2-1 loss – the soccer equivalent of a car honking loudly but stalling at the green light.
Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), on the other cleat, must summon their inner warriors and outscore Yei Joint Stars of South Sudan to triumph over Group A. Just to rewind to 2021 for a moment, CBE completely obliterated their opponents, leaving a scoreline that read 10-0 in their favor, with their captain Loza Abera acting as the queen of goals and netting six of those notches.
Loza Abera, the goal-scoring maestro, is on a mission to capture the top scorer’s title and replicate her accomplishments from the past two editions of qualifiers. While Abera remains modest about her ambitions, her inner soccer flames surely burn brighter than a referee’s yellow card. Her sights are set on Kampala Queens’ Fazila Ikwaput, who currently holds the record for eight goals – Ikwaput’s skills must be as sharp as her goal-scoring instincts.
As Abera eloquently puts it, “We do what the coach asks,” even though there might be an unspoken footnote that reads, “And then some.” Reflecting on a previous match against Djibouti’s FAD, Abera found herself substituted with only a single goal to her name, a match where scoring more would have been as satisfying as an extra scoop of ice cream on a sunny day. Meanwhile, Fazila Ikwaput decided to go above and beyond and managed to plant five goals against the same side, proving that some players just really, really like icing on their cake.
Amidst all the soccer shenanigans, CBE stands firm in their declaration that winning is more important than scoring goals in numbers that resemble a teenager’s phone number. Yei Joint Stars, despite being relatively new kids on the block, have been flexing their muscles and showing steady progress, losing a relatively modest 3-0 against Kampala Queens (KQ) and a narrow 1-0 against Buja Queens. Buja Queens, by the way, have players from the Simba Queens squad, a group that once turned Yei Joint Stars into stardust with a resounding 4-0 victory.
The plot thickens as CBE faces the ultimate test of soccer fate: a duel with Yei Joint Stars. A win would rocket CBE to the apex of Group A and secure a date with the formidable Vihiga Queens in the semifinals. Brace yourselves for a reunion of titanic proportions, as CBE and Vihiga Queens reminisce about their clash in the 2021 group stages – a skirmish CBE won 4-2. However, Vihiga Queens sought their revenge in the finals, snatching victory with a dramatic 2-1 scoreline and earning themselves a golden ticket to the Champions League in Morocco. That’s one rollercoaster ride that can’t be found at an amusement park.
But wait, there’s more! If CBE finds itself stuck in the mud and loses by more than two goals, the gracious hosts, Kampala Queens, might just stage a triumphant comeback from the soccer graveyard and secure their spot in the semis. It’s a story that mirrors the age-old tale of the underdog rising from the ashes, much like a phoenix with a newfound love for headers.
In the grand scheme of soccer fate, if CBE fumbles even slightly – whether it’s through a humble draw or a triumphant win – Buja will swoop in and seize the group’s throne by taking down FAD. And if you thought this was a straightforward story, brace yourselves for a twist. FAD, with the potential to shake the earth beneath Group A, could inject a dose of drama by defeating Buja. Who would’ve thought that the fate of soccer supremacy could hinge on the outcome of matches that sound like texting acronyms?
As the dust settles and the cleats are laced, all eyes turn to the thrilling Thursday fixtures at the Fufa Technical Centre. The stage is set: CBE clashes with Yei Joint Stars at 1pm, promising a showdown that could either launch CBE to glory or leave them contemplating what went as wrong as a goalkeeper’s ill-timed dive. And at 4pm, FAD and Buja Queens take center stage, prepared to duke it out like gladiators in a modern-day coliseum, albeit with shin guards and fewer lions. It’s a soccer spectacle you won’t want to miss – it’s a rollercoaster of emotions, goals, and perhaps a touch of soccer magic.