SouthAfrica.info (Johannesburg)

South Africa/Nigeria: Banyana Beat Nigeria, Into AWC Final

Photo: SAFA
Banyana Banyana facing Nigeria in a previous international friendly match.

Banyana Banyana secured a place in the final of the Confederation of African Football (Caf) African Women's Championship with a thrilling 1-0 win over Africa's top-ranked team, Nigeria, in a semi-final played at the Bata Stadium in Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday.

It was a first victory for Banyana over Nigeria, who were the defending champions, since the South African national women's team was founded in 1993.

'Amazing sense of pride'

After the game, South African coach Joseph Mkhonza said: "Seeing Banyana Banyana beat Nigeria for the first time in our team's history has left us with an amazing sense of prize and confidence ahead of Sunday's final against the hosts Equatorial Guinea. All of our players need to be commended for their commitment and discipline shown.

"We had to pick ourselves up after the opening match defeat against Equatorial Guinea and have applied ourselves to beat Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo and now Nigeria," Mkhonza said.

"We have some homework to do before Sunday's final, knowing we will play in front of a large red-clad crowd in what is certain to be a packed Malabo stadium, but we will be ready for the challenge."

Goal

Central defender Janine van Wyk scored the all-important goal in the 23rd minute, after the Nigerians failed to clear their lines from a corner kick. She gathered the ball 25 metres out from the goal and let fly with a left-footed shot, which dipped and hit the underside of the crossbar, leaving Nigerian goalkeeper and captain Precious Dede with no chance of stopping it.

The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana will face Equatorial Guinea in the final in Malabo on Sunday, 11 November, after the hosts defeated Cameroon 2-0 in the first semi-final played earlier in the day.

Nigeria pushed hard for an equaliser in the second half, but they found Banyana Banyana goalkeeper Thoko Mndaweni in fine form between the posts at the South African end of the field.

Fine defensive work

The Nigerian attacks were often neutralised by some fine defensive work, with Amanda Sister combining superbly with Van Wyk in the heart of the Banyana Banyana rearguard. They were well aided by fullbacks Gabisile Hlumbane and Nothando Vilakazi.

With the speed of striker Jermaine Seoposenwe causing a major problem for the Nigerian defenders, and with the experienced Portia Modise dominating the midfield tussles along with captain Amanda Dlamini and the young, tough-tackling Refiloe Jane, the South Africans saved their best performance at the tournament for the clash with the Nigerians.

Van Wyk's goal was her second against the Nigerians in the African Women's Championship. Two years ago, in Ekurhuleni, she netted a superb free kick against the Super Falcons in the African Women’s Championship.

"I have been in the Banyana Banyana side since 2004 and we have tried for so long to beat the Nigerians, but luck has never been on our side. But now we have proved that we can compete and beat the best on the continent," said Van Wyk, whose strike was her ninth in a Banyana Banyana jersey.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2012 SouthAfrica.info. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

InFocus

South Africa's Banyana to Face Unbeaten Hosts in Final

South Africa women's national senior socccer Banyana Banyana to play in AWC finals against Equatorial Guinea.

Banyana Banyana who defeated the reigning champions Nigeria will play the unbeaten hosts Equatorial Guinea for the CAF African Women Championship final. Read more »

Banyana in Historic Win Over Nigerian Falcons

Banyana Banyana facing Nigeria in a previous international friendly match.

Banyana Banyana have booked a spot in the finals of the African Women Championships after defeating the Super Falcons in a closely contested semi-final. Read more »