Super Falcons win AWCON, defeat South Africa
Goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi emerged the hero as she saved Linda Motlhalo’s penalty to ensure a ninth African Women’s Nations Cup for the Super Falcons.
Nigeria defeated South Africa 4-3 on penalties in the final after a goalless regulation time.
Onome Ebi missed Nigeria’s first spot-kick as her shot hit the upright while Ngozi Ebere, Rita Chikwelu, Veronica Ihezuo and Chinaza Uchendu scored the Falcons subsequent penalties.
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.