Women’s Afcon gold and glory in sight

Women's Afcon gold and glory in sight for 'absolutely magnificent' Banyana Banyana
Women's Afcon gold and glory in sight for 'absolutely magnificent' Banyana Banyana

Banyana Banyana celebrates after qualifying for the Women’s African Cup of Nations (@CAFWomen) last year.

Since landing in Morocco for the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, Banyana Banyana has completed all of their packing containers.
Head coach Desiree Ellis now relies on her charges to finish the job and win the tournament for the first time.
Banyana’s final match will be against Morocco on Saturday.

Before boarding the journey to Rabat for the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis and her charges sat down together to ensure clarity on what they desired to achieve.

Banyana’s first step was simple: win their group, which included Nigeria, Burundi, and Botswana.

They passed with flying colors, earning 9 factors and advancing to the quarter-finals.

Their first priority was to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2023, and winning the quarters would ensure their inclusion.

Banyana completed the task, and while the result was not a convincing 1-0 victory over Tunisia, it was hard-fought and emotional. Star forward Thembi Kgatlana was ruled out for the duration of the event due to an Achilles injury, and they also had to deal with a Covid-19 outbreak.

Monday’s semi-final was their most notable contest against a team that beat them 3-0 in February during a global friendly.

But winning the game fulfilled another goal for Ellis and her Banyana ladies.

Banyana were granted a dubious penalty thanks to VAR (video assistant referee) after Jermaine Seoposenwe was introduced down on the sting of the field.

Midfielder Linda Mothlalo converted a stoppage-time penalty against Zambia, keeping Banyana’s dream alive.

They will now have a chance to achieve their main aim of winning the Women’s Afcon.

Banyana will compete in back-to-back Women’s Afcon finals (their sixth overall) following their penalty shootout loss to Nigeria in the 2018 edition.

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Cody
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