Sports, Action! Four Talking Points from the Weekend

Djokovic's seventh heaven, Falconets fly, Eagles stumble, Mamelodi Sundowns women triumph

1. Mamelodi Sundowns: What men can do, women can do better

South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns women’s team proved this famous maxim when they won the CAF Women Champions League for the second time with a 3-0 victory over debutants Sporting Club Casablanca in Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday. Their win comes after Sundowns’ men’s team won the inaugural African Football League last Sunday. The men’s side were crowned champions after a 2-0 second leg victory over Wydad Casablanca Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria sealed a 3-2 aggregate triumph. While the Sundowns men’s team have won the CAF (Men’s) Champions League once and finished runners-up once, the women’s team have now won the Women’s edition twice.

2. What the Men couldn’t do… Falconets fly, Eagles stumble

Goals by Janet Akekoromowei and Comfort Folorunsho against Tanzania at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja on Sunday gave Nigeria’s Falconets a 2-1 win and progress to the final round of qualifiers for the 2024 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals. The Falconets’ win came after a disappointing afternoon for Nigerian football fans following the Super Eagles’ tame 1-1 draw with the Zimbabwe Warriors in neutral Rwanda in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. Unlike the men’s senior team, the Falconets gave the fans a reason to smile with a 3-2 on aggregate win over Tanzania to reach the final round, where they will play Burundi’s U-20 girls.

3. Roundup of 2026 World Cup African qualifiers, and Romelo Lukaku’s record

The not so Super Eagles of Nigeria were held to another 1-1 draw in their second match of the FIFA World Cup qualifying African series, by the Warriors of Zimbabwe in Butare, Rwanda on Sunday. In their first match at home in Uyo, the Eagles also played a 1-1 draw with football minnows, Lesotho. Mohammed Salah’s Egypt won 2-0 away in Sierra Leone; Algeria secured a 2-0 win also away against Mozambique, while Sudan, playing at home, beat Congo DR by a lone goal.

Congo DR-born Belgian Romelu Lukaku ‘s four-goal performance in 20 first-half minutes during Belgium’s 5-0 rout over 10-man Azerbaijan in Euro 2024 qualifying, adds to the Belgian’s total of 14 goals, four more than Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and five ahead of France’s Kylian Mbappé. Lukaku’s 14 goals is also a record for a European Championship qualifying campaign, beating the mark of 13 set by Irishman David Healy in 2008 and equalled by Poland’s Robert Lewandowski in 2016.

4. Novak Djokovic’s seventh heaven, stretches bragging rights in GOAT debate

In a stellar year in which he won three of the four Grand Slam titles, world number one Novak Djokovic defeated home favourite Jannik Sinner at the ATP World Tour Finals in Turin, Italy to win a record seventh ATP Finals title. The 24-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic saw off Sinner in front of a passionate crowd, winning 6-3 6-3 to seal a record victory, after previously having lost to the Italian in the round-robin section of the competition. The Serbian also celebrated a record-extending total of 400 weeks as world number one (Having broken Roger Federer’s 310-week mark in 2021 for most weeks at No. 1, Djokovic in February, broke Steffi Graf’s record of 377 weeks to become the all-time men’s and women’s leader). With 24 Grand Slam singles titles, Djokovic is ahead of rivals, Rafael Nadal (22) and Roger Federer (20), stretching his bragging rights in the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) debate.


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