Cape Town - Banyana Banyana are through to the semi-finals of the 2018
Women’s Africa Cup of Nations following a 1-1 draw against Zambia in the Battle
of the South played at the Accra Sports Stadium in Ghana on Saturday.
This was South Africa’s seventh last four qualification in a
row in the tournament - the last time they failed to do so was in 2004 when
Banyana Banyana hosted the competition.
Head coach Desiree Ellis made three changes to the squad
that walloped Equatorial Guinea 7-1 - restoring the starting line-up that took
on Nigeria, minus Jermaine Seoposenwe.
Thembi Kgatlana was quick off the mark to put South Africa
into the lead with a goal in the seventh minute - her fourth goal in the three
matches in the tournament, which saw her walk away with the woman-of-the-match
for third time in a row, the only player to do so in the competition.
But the celebrations had hardly died down when Zambia stunned
Banyana Banyana with an equaliser just a minute later after the defence was
In the end, the draw was enough to see South Africa to the
next round while the Zambians were eliminated after Nigeria showed no mercy to
Equatorial Guinea, beating them 6-0 to secure the other semi-final spot.
Banyana Banyana will return to the Cape Coast to face Mali on
Tuesday, who will be making their first appearance in the AFCON semi-final.
Meanwhile, Nigeria and Cameroon will battle it out in Accra
for a spot in the final.
The top three from this quartet will represent the African
continent at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, scheduled for June