HEARTBREAK: Banyana come home

Banyana Banyana were pipped to Africa Women Cup of Nations glory by Nigeria in Saturday’s final.

After 120 frantic goalless minutes, the Super Falcons won a penalty shootout 4-3 to deny the South Africans a maiden title. 

During the match, the west Africans kept top scorer and Player of the Tournament, Banyana star striker Thembi Kgatlana, at bay as coach Desiree Ellis’ ladies looked confident.

Justice seemed to prevail in the 74th minute when Nigeria were awarded a hotly-disputed penalty after Banyana goalkeeper Kaylin Swart was alleged to have fouled an opposing player.

However, Nigerian striker Asisat Oshoala delivered a poor-quality spotkick to keep the scoreline level.

SA had the better of the scoring opportunities in the first half with Leandra Smeda’s lob over goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi going just over the Nigerian crossbar in the 10th minute.

Three minutes later, fellow midfielder Mamello Makhabane saw her freekick effort pushed wide of danger by the Nigerian keeper.

After the heartbreak of the penalty shootout, 22-year old Kgatlana was named the top player in Ghana, while she and Janine van Wyk, Lebohang Ramalepe Kaylin Swart and Linda Motlhalo were included in the all-star squad.

Awcon awards

Woman of the Competition: Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa)

Top scorer: Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana (SA)

Fair Play: Cameroon

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