South Africa’s Banyana Banyana have defeated Nigeria’s Super Falcons 2-1 in the opening game of Group C of the 12th Women Africa Cup of Nations on Monday.
Nine-time champions and FIFA World Cup ever-present Nigeria were also defeated by South Africa 10 months ago and on home soil in the final match of the first edition of Aisha Buhari Women’s Tournament.
In the first 45 minutes, both teams were unable to achieve any breakthrough.
But South Africa were up 2-0 within two minutes of the hour-mark after Jermaine Seoposenwe hooked the ball into the Nigeria defence to get a clear chance to beat goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi from close range, after great work by Natalie Cesane who beat hard-working Ashleigh Plumptre with classy footwork on the edge of the Nigeria area and then sent the striker on her way.
The cheers and back-slapping on the Banyana bench had hardly died down when, after a nifty exchange of passes in the middle, Michelle Alozie was beaten with a long ball on Nigeria right and Hildah Magaia shot past onrushing Tochukwu Oluehi.
The Super Falcons looked rejuvenated after Francisca Ordega and Uchenna Kanu came into the fray for Asisat Oshoala and Ifeoma Onumonu respectively. Two minutes into added time, Rasheedat Ajibade, reduced the deficit when she found the ball at her feet in the box after good work and passed by Captain Onome Ebi.
Cup holders Nigeria must gain all three points against Botswana in their second competitive match on Thursday to revive their campaign.