ACCRA, Ghana, November 22 – The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana shot to the top of Group B of the 2018 Women’s AFCON after a fine 7-1 victory over Equatorial Guinea.
The clash took place on Wednesday, 21 October 2018 at the Cape Coast Stadium in Ghana.
This is the biggest scoreline to date in the current edition of the tournament.
Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis made three changes to the starting line-up that beat Nigeria in the first match of the competition – introducing Thembi Kgatlana, Nompumelelo Nyandeni and Kgaelebane Mohlakoana for Busisiwe Ndimeni, Mamello Makhabane and Refiloe Jane.
As early as the second minute of the first half, South Africa had missed two clear chances – but has made a statement of intent that it was going to be a very high scoring match as Equatorial Guinea looked in disarray.
Banyana Banyana took the lead in the 20 minutes through a penalty taken by Linda Motlhalo, and Nyandeni made it 2-0 two minutes later with an assist from Kgatlana.
The South Africans took their foot off the pedal and the match deteriorated into a dull affair – and at the stroke of halftime, Banyana Banyana gifted Equatorial Guinea a goal after a defensive error.
Sensing danger, Ellis took off Mohlakoana and brought on Jane at the start of the second half – she made an immediate impact and scored in the 56thminute – 3-1 South Africa.
Then the floodgates opened.
Four minutes later Kgatlana increased the lead to 4-1, and the celebrations had hardly died down when she made it 5-1 in the 63rdminute – a goal that shot her to the top of the goalscorers chart with three goals in two games in the tournament.
Kgatlana walked away with the Woman of the Match award – her second in a row.
She was then rested and replacement, Amanda Mthandi, playing in her first Women’s AFCON, scored goal number 6 in the 77thminute before Jermaine Seoposenwe made it seven two minutes later.
Makhabane was also brought on in place of Nyandeni.
The score could have been more had Banyana Banyana converted the many chances they created, but in the end, they walk away with a crucial three points to top the group with six points.
They are followed by Nigeria and Zambia on three points each – but the Super Falcons have a better goal difference.
Two losses in a row mean Equatorial Guinea have been eliminated from the competition.
Banyana Banyana and Zambia will meet in the last match of the group stages at the Accra Sports Stadium, while Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea remain in Cape Coast for their clash.
Both fixtures will take place on Saturday, 24 November and kick off at the same time – 18h00 SA time.
– African News Agency (ANA)