By Sedara Philip
Tanzanian club JKT Queens are through to the CAF Women’s Champions League after beating Ethiopia’s Commercial Bank 5-4 on penalties in the CECAFA regional qualifiers on Wednesday.
The final in Uganda finished 0-0 after extra time before JKT prevailed in the shootout to secure their place at November’s Champions League finals in Ivory Coast.
Both sides spurned chances to win it in regulation time before nerves and tension took over in the penalty contest.
JKT converted all five spot-kicks through Ester Mbanza Gindulya, Donisia Minja, Winifrida Gerald, Anastazia Katunzi and Happyness Mwaipaja.
Commercial Bank missed their fifth penalty as JKT stopper Najiat Abass Idrisa saved Tinbit Samuel Bassa’s effort to spark Tanzanian celebrations.
“I’m very happy we are champions and will play in the Champions League,” said JKT coach Esther Fredy Chaburuma.
“The players worked hard because we won all our matches in the competition.”
In the third-place playoff, Burundi’s Buja Queens beat 2021 winners Vihiga Queens of Kenya 1-0 through Lydia Akoth’s 41st minute goal.
JKT’s Stumai Abdallah Athumani was named player of the tournament while her teammate Idrisa took the best goalkeeper award.
Kampala Queens’ Fazila Ikwaput won the golden boot with eight goals as Uganda took the fair play award.
JKT Queens will now prepare for their historic debut in the CAF Women’s Champions League proper later this year