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,
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
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
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.