Banyana Banyana overrun Super Falcons to win Aisha Buhari Cup
Banyana Banyana of South Africa has put a major dent on Nigerian football, as they overran the Super Falcons 4-2 to lift the maiden Aisha Buhari Cup yesterday.
It was a sweet revenge for the Banyana Banyana, who lost 0-1 to the Nigerians in the semifinal of the 2016 African Women Nations Cup in Cameroun, as well as the final game of the Ghana 2018 African Women Nations Cup.
The Aisha Buhari Cup is the first major competition to be held at the newly refurbished Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, Lagos.
The coach Desiree Ellis’ team got the first goal shortly after the kickoff, with Nigeria’s Alozie Chidi deflecting the ball into her own net.
The South Africans increased the tally 17 minutes later through the penalty spot after veteran defender, Ebi Onome, had handled the ball in the 18-yard box. Linda Motlhalo converted it.
Things went from bad to worse for Nigeria when the South Africans capped off a dominant opening half by bagging a third goal just before the half time break with Gabriel Salgado finding the back of the net.
The Super Falcons came out firing in the second half with the introduction of home-based players, Vivian Ikechukwu, Grace Okoronkwo and Ihuoma Onyebuchi.
Ikechukwu, who plays for Rivers Angels, scored two quick goals in the 21st and 23rd minutes to reduce the deficit to 3-2. But it was not enough to prevent the Super Falcons, who are 11-time African champions, from defeat at the hands of the rampaging Banyana Banyana
Just when Nigerians were expecting the Super Falcons to improve on their play and get a third goal, they went to sleep, allowing the South Africans to take full control of the game.
The pressure by the Banyana Banyana paid off when one of the attackers dribbled her way into Nigeria’s 18-yard box and was brought down. Mamello Makhabane converted their second penalty to seal victory at 4-2.
Both teams went into the clash knowing a win would see them emerge as champions in the inaugural edition of the competition.
The Super Falcons were the favourite and also had the support of the home crowd, but the South Africans were able to prove that the future of the game belongs to the youth and not ‘big names.’