Bafana Bafana

Banyana claim victory over Nigeria in Women's AFCON opener

2018-11-19 12:20
Thembi Kgatlana
Thembi Kgatlana (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - A brilliant 88th minute goal from second-half substitute Thembi Kgatlana was enough to give the Banyana Banyana a much-deserved win over Nigeria in a 2018 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations Group B clash at the Cape Coast Stadium in Ghana on Sunday.

According to the official SAFA website, this was Banyana Banyana’s first victory over the Super Falcons, who are the defending champions, since 2012.

The story turned out differently this time around for Desiree Ellis’ charges.

The Former Banyana Banyana captain made three changes to the squad that lost to Ghana in an international friendly match a week earlier.

Refiloe Jane, Jermaine Seoposenwe and Mamello Makhabane got the nod ahead of Melinda Kgadiete, Kgaelebane Mohlakoana and Kgatlana.

The match started at a slow pace with but as soon as things got comfortable for both sides, it was Nigeria who first got out of the blocks as they piled pressure on Banyana Banyana, who stood firm.

The South Africans survived a real scare when Asisat Oshoala found herself unmarked in the Banyana Banyana box after the defence had been split wide open, but she inexplicably shot wide of goals.

The defending champions looked to tire at the start of the second stanza and this gave the 2018 COSAFA Women’s Championship winners a boost.

Seoposenwe, who was working tirelessly upfront, could not control the ball with the goal begging and shot wide.

Kgatlana entered the match on the 57thminute to replace Busisiwe Ndimeni and with her blistering pace, she ran at the Nigerian defence and they could not contain her.

She was not to be denied two minutes from full time when she ran onto a ball from Seoposenwe and with a thunderous volley, gave South Africa the lead.

This was her 11th goal in 41 matches for South Africa as she made her third AFCON tournament appearance in a row.

Banyana Banyana held on as five minutes were added at the end of the regulation 90 minutes.

It was a great start for Banyana Banyana to the tournament as they next face Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday at the same venue, while Nigeria will go toe-to-toe with Zambia in the other Group B match.

 

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