AWCON – South Africa Humble Falcons in Opener
Banyana Banyana in their Group B opener of the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) in Cape Coast’ Ghana, yesterday.
Thembi Kgatlana scored a superb goal as South Africa got their African Women’s Championship campaign off to a dream start with a 1-0 victory over defending champions.
The decisive moment in the match came five minutes from the end when Kgatlana’ sent off the bench as an impact player by coach Desiree Ellis’ drilled a volley into the back of the net after being set up by Jermaine Seoposenwe. It is her 11th goal in 41 appearances for Banyana.
This will be a massive boost for Banyana Banyana in their bid to finish in the top three at the continental finals and seal a place at next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
The Super Falcons’ defeat against the much more prepared South African side in their AWCON opener was inevitable as the Nigerian ladies have experienced a lot of neglect from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) since their last continental triumph in Cameroon in 2016.
The Super Falcons are the most successful female national team on the continent but went to the tournament agonizing over continued lip service paid to them by the Amaju Pinnick-led NFF.
The Nigeria’s women team were probably the least prepared side at the tournament. Since they won the last edition of the championship in Cameroon two years ago, the team has been left without tangible activity until the qualifiers for the 2018 edition began in June – when they walloped Gambia 7-0 on aggregate to qualify.
Africa’s most successful women’s team were without a coach for one year following the expiration of the contract of the 2016 title-winning coach Florence Omagbemi until the NFF announced Swede Thomas Dennerby as their coach in January.
Less than two weeks to the tournament, they hurriedly embarked on the final leg of preparation for the 2018 AWCON in Abidjan unlike their male counterparts, Super Eagles
Write by Salifu Usman