Bayelsa Queens Coach ‘Happy’ With Bronze Medal

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Bayelsa Queens of Nigeria head coach Domo Okara feels his ladies got “lucky” in their 1-0 victory against Tanzania’s Simba Queens, but said he is happy to have secured a bronze medal on their debut outing in the CAF Women’s Champions League.

The Prosperity ladies went into the third-place match on the heels of a 1-0 defeat to hosts ASFAR in the semi-final and were hoping to earn redemption against the Tanzanians, who lost 1-0 to Cup holders Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday.

After a wasteful barren first half, the Nigerians got the match-winner through Juliet Sunday’s second-half effort and the 45-year-old reviewed their hard-fought third-place triumph.

Bayelsa Queens coach, Domo Okara.

“I am very glad to have won, but our ambition was to win the trophy, it didn’t happen, and I know we only had the third place to get,” Okara said in an interview.

“We know where we came from, our league to here, after we lost the semi-finals, it is like the world has come to an end. We needed to pick up ourselves, to be the third-best team in Africa is not a joke, it was very difficult to like but I am happy we won.”

“I knew it will be very difficult to play our opponents because they are very good physically. I knew it was going to be a good game, it was a 50-50game, and the Tanzanian girls did very well also, we are just lucky to have won.”

Okara took over from Moses Aduku in July and inspired the Yenagoa-based side to WAFU-B triumph in the interim, before leading them to a bronze-winning feat on the continent.

The Bayelsa Queens of Nigeria.

“The bronze medal to me is a gold medal ‘golden bronze’ but as a coach, I have never coached to the continental level, this is my first appearance, likewise the team,” Okara added. “So I have now known how the champions league is before we came.” 

“I thought we were the best team, but I have come to see we are not close to the best, what we will do, thank God we came. We would have to recruit some new players and inject some players, especially in the attacking position.”

“We are Nigerian champions, we’ve conquered Nigeria, but we can’t compare what we saw here to the one in Nigeria, the women league has improved, if you are watching on the television, you would think they are European teams.”

“I am very happy for Africa, the introduction of the Champions League will help improve the teams and also when we are going to the Women’s World Cup, we will do better than ever,” Okara concluded.

The 2022 CAF Women’s Champions League Fair Play award went to the Bayelsa Queens of Nigeria.

 

Chidi Nwoke/CAF.