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CAF Women's Champions League: All set for Rivers Angels' bid to be tournament's first ever winners

The first ever edition of the CAF Women's Champions League, known as 2021 TotalEnergies CAF Women's Champions League for sponsorship reasons, begins this week on the 5th of November and will run till 19th November, 2021.

The tournament, organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), is the female equivalent of the CAF Champions League. Nigerian Champions, Rivers Angels seek to become the first ever winner of the tournament.

**Rivers Angels squad. Source:

Unlike the male equivalent which runs through a year with participating clubs hosting matches, this competition will be held in form of a tournament with Egypt being the hosts of the maiden edition.

The qualification games for the tournament involved qualifiers tournaments in each of CAF's regions with the winner in each zone claiming an automatic ticket to the competition proper. The qualifiers tournaments held across different venues in each zone.

Rivers Angels, being the champions of the Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL), participated in WAFU B Qualifiers tournament in Abidjan but suffered a shock 3-1 defeat in the final to Ghanaian champions, Hasaacas Ladies. This result gave Hasaacas an automatic spot in the tournament, along with the 5 other winners from other zones.

According to the rules, two other teams - the champions of the host country and the defending champions - are to join the 6 teams that qualify through the qualifiers. However, as there is no defending champion for the maiden edition, the rules states that a representative from the reigning champions of Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) will be part of the first edition. Nigeria are the reigning AWCON champions and Rivers Angels, as Nigerian League champions, got their ticket to the tournament through this technicality.

**Rivers Angels celebrating 2020/2021 NWFL title. Source:

The draws for the tournament held on the 29th of September in Cairo and Rivers Angels were drawn in Group B alongside Vihiga Queens (Kenya), Mamelodi Sundowns Queens (South Africa) and ASFAR Club (Morocco).

**Nigerian Legend Perpetual Nkwocha (l) and Egypt National Women's Team captain, Alia Zenouki (r) conducting the draws. Source:

The Jewels of Rivers will open their campaign against ASFAR Club on the 6th of November, before taking on Sundowns three days later. The Nigerians will then wrap up their group campaign against Vihiga on the 12th of November.


The top two teams in each group will qualify for the knockout stages with the final to be played on the 19th of November. Rivers Angels, led by Edwin Okon, are seeking to put aside their disappointing final losses in the Zonal Qualifiers and the Betsy Obaseki Cup and become the first ever winners of the CAF Women's Champions League.

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