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Banyana upstage Falcons for the third time



Nigeria’s Super Falcons were off to a faulty start in their quest for a 10th title win in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco.

They were upstaged by a more determined and focused Banyana of South Africa who beat them 2-1.

It is the third time South Africa beat Nigeria in their last four encounters. Both met in the opening stage of the last edition in Ghana. South Africa won 1-0.

They met again in the final match which ended goalless before Super Falcons prevailed on penalties. They were pitched together in the final match of the Aisha Buhari Cup in Lagos. Surprisingly, South Africa won 4-2 in Lagos.

The South Africans have now carried their winning mentality beyond the ordinary. The loss by Super Falcons is the sixth in encounters in Africa since losing to Ghana at the African Women Championship in Warri 20 years ago.

In what could be the final before final at the Stade Prince Moulay Al Hassan in Rabat, Morocco Banyana Banyana got off to a dream start as, with a calm air of professionalism.


After a goalless first half in which they were the dominant, side, the South Africans increased their offensive and ensured that the nine-times champions never moved near the third of their area.

In swift operation they swept aside tournament favourites Nigeria when within a space of three minutes they found the Nigerian net twice.

Lightning strikes from Jermaine Seoposenwe in the 61st minute and Hildah Magaia in the 63rd earned South Africa a sweet victory. It is the first time Banyana ever scored two goals against the Falcons.

Rasheedat Ajibade pulled back a consolation for Nigeria in the second minute of added time.

Banyana now just need to keep their heads against the other two teams in Group C, the tournament rookie pair of Burundi on Thursday and Botswana on Sunday, to clinch their quarter-final spot.


Cup holders Nigeria must gain all three points against Botswana in their second match of the competition on Thursday to revive their campaign.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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