Nigeria survived yet another dramatic penalty shootout as they edged South Africa to 4-3 inside the Accra Sports Stadium to win the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations.
The much-fancied Super falcons lost to the Banyana Banyana 1-0 in a group B opener and nearly repeated the fete early when Jermaine Seoposenwe fired in the opening exchanges but the Nigerians maintained their backline as they laboured through an entertaining 120 minutes.
Oneme Ebi started the kicks for Nigerian on a wrong foot by missing but her teammates Ngozi Ebere, Rita Chikwelu, Chinenwendu Ihezuo and Chinaza Uchendu converted the subsequent kicks to save the ship.
On the other side, Ester Ramalepe and Linda Motlhalo missed the second and last kicks for the Banyana.
Both nations, together with bronze medallist, Cameroon, will proceed to represent Africa at the 2019 FIFA World Cup in France.
The victory extends Nigeria’s dominance to 11 titles, Equatorial Guinea come at a distant second with only two.
South Africa’s Thembi Kgatlana swept the Woman of the Competition (MVP) and the golden boot with her five strikes.
Cameroon was awarded the fair play gong.
Summary of awards and team of the tournament;
Woman of the Competition: Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa)
Top scorer: Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa)
Fair Play: Cameroon
Goalkeeper: Tochukwu Olueji (Nigeria)
Defenders: Lebohang Ramalepe (South Africa), Janine Van Wyk (South Africa), Onome Ebi (Nigeria), Claudine Meffometou Tcheno (Cameroon)
Midfielders: Raissa Feudjio (Cameroon), Marlyse Ngo Ndoumbouk (Cameroon), Elizabeth Addo (Ghana)
Forwards: Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene (cameroon), Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana (South Africa), Bassira Toure (Mali)
Kaylin Swart (South Africa), Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria), Linda Motlhalo (South Africa), Genevieve Ngo Mbeleck (Cameroon), Francisa Ordega (Nigeria), Fatoumata Diarra (Mali)