2022 WAFCON: South Africa stun champions Nigeria in group opening game

July 4, 2022
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South Africa’s Banyana Banyana

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South Africa’s Banyana Banyana on Monday stunned champions Super Falcons of Nigeria 2-1 in the Group C opening match at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Morocco.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the result was similar to that of 2018 WAFCON where Banyana Banyana pipped the Super Falcons 1-0 in their opening game.

The result also meant that the South Africans have now recorded back-to-back wins against Nigeria after they defeated the Super Falcons 4-2 in the Aisha Buhari Cup Invitational in 2021.

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On Monday, after a goalless first half, South Africa netted two quick goals through Jermaine Seoposenwe and Hildah Magaia.

The nine-time champions however managed to pull a goal back late in the game through Rasheedat Ajibade.

South Africa bossed the first five minutes of the game but the Falcons defence held firm.

In the eighth minute the Falcons had a scare as Asisat Oshoala went down and needed treatment following a tough challenge.

Few minutes later South Africa broke forward with Tochukwu Oluehi out of her area but Ashleigh Plumptre got there and cleared for a corner-kick.

Michelle Alozie tried to play Oshoala through on goal but her effort was blocked in the 23rd minute.

Few minutes later, Oshoala had another chance to open scoring after controlling a long pass with her chest but fell over with the goalkeeper coming out to claim the ball.

In the 37th minute Alozie found herself in a good space on the right to beat her marker, but her attempted left-foot curler went across goal.

Nine minutes later, a long cross found Ifeoma Onumonu, but her header was weak to trouble the South African goalkeeper.

South Africa broke the deadlock in the 60th minute through Seoposenwe who collected a pass on the edge of the box before slotting past goalkeeper Oluehi.

Just barely two minutes later, Magaia doubled South Africa’s lead as she ran on to a through pass and fired past Oluehi.

Minutes later another break from South Africa freed Kgatlana but Oluehi came off her area to stop her.

The Falcons pushed forward to salvage something out of the game but the South Africans were able to ward off their threats.

Ajibade however pulled a goal back for Nigeria in the first minute of added time, off an assist from Onome Ebi.

But it was only a consolation goal as South Africa held on to claim the win.

The Super Falcons will next face debutants Botswana while South Africa take on Burundi.

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