Accra, Ghana : The Super Falcons of Nigeria have won their ninth Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) title following a 4-3 win over South Africa after penalties in a tension soaked match on Saturday.
There were no goals during regulation time as both teams matched each other strength for strength all through 120 minutes. Asisat Oshoala missed an 83rd minute penalty but that did not stop the Nigerian team from being victorious as goalkeeper Tochukwu saved the last kick taken by South Africa.
Onome Ebi missed the first spot-kick but South Africa also threw away their second penalty to bring the Super Falcons even in the match. Francisca Ordega was given the man-of-the-match while Thembi Kgatlana won the most valuable player award.
Lebohang Ramalepe missed South Africa’s second penalty before Oluehi saved the last spot kick to become the hero.
Thomas Dennerby made a change to the team that defeated Cameroon in the semi-final with Rasheedat Ajibade replacing Desire Oparanozie.
Ajibade struggled to combine with Oshoala in attack as the front line looked limp with the South African defenders keeping the duo away from goal.
Francisca Ordega, who was handed the woman of the match award had a lively display on the wings trying to force the issue against the Banyana Banyana.
The Atletico Madrid winger won the penalty for Nigeria in the 73rd minute after Swart brought her down in the area.
2018 Africa Women’s player of the year nominee, Asisat Oshoala, missed the penalty as her poorly-taken kick dragged wide of goalkeeper Christen Swart’s goal.
The tournament’s highest goalscorer, Thembi Kgatlana, was a main threat for South Africa but she couldn’t breach Oluehi’s goal.
Kgatlana went close in the eighth minute of extra time when she powered past Ebere and Ebi but her weak effort was easily gathered by the goalkeeper.
The South African attacker was aware the woman of the tournament after scoring five goals in the tournament.
The Super Falcons, South Africa and bronze medallists Cameroon will represent Africa at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.
Cameroon won the Fair Play award as they join Nigeria and South Africa to next year’s FIFA’s Women’s World Cup in France.
Earlier : Nigeria, South Africa Set For AWCON Final On Saturday
Defending champions, Nigeria Super Falcons and South Africa’s Banyana Banyana have both qualified for the final of the Total 2018 CAF African Women Nations Cup set for Saturday in Accra Ghana.
Nigeria edged Cameroon 4-2 in penalty shootout also picking the first of three tickets to the FIFA Women’s World Cup while South Afirca beat Mali 2-0 and also picked the second World Cup ticket to France.
The first semifinal game of the 2018 African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) played at the Accra Sports Stadium, which saw Cameroon Indomitable Lionesses dominating the proceedings, ended 0-0 at regulation time.
With an extra 30 minutes without a goal from both sides, the defending champions, however, showcased their playing prowess in a 4-2 penalty shootout against their West African neighbours.
Captain Onome Ebi, Asisat Oshoala, Rasheedat Ajibade and Ngozi Ebere all converted the opportunities for the Super Falcons with goalie Tochukwu Oluehi saving a penalty.
Nigeria will take on the winner in the second semi final match between South Africa and Mali, to determine the tournament’s champion.
The Super Falcons with the victory have also qualified for 2019 FIFA World Cup in France.
The Banyana Banyana will face the Super Falcons in Saturday’s final after dispatching Les Aiglonnes in Cape Coast on Tuesday
A goal in either half was enough to steer South Africa to a 2-0 semifinal victory over Mali at the ongoing Africa Women Cup of Nations in Ghana on Tuesday.
Houston Dash attacker Thembi Kgatlana and Lebogang Ramalepe emerged heroines for the Banyana Banyana at the Cape Coast Stadium as their strikes set up a final date with eight-time champions Nigeria on Saturday.
The result also secured Desiree Ellis’ outfit qualification ticket for the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup in France.
Image : Nigeria Super Falcons celebrate 9th AWCON title