Banyana lose on penalties to Nigeria in Women’s Afcon final

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ACCRA, Ghana, December 1 – Nigeria beat Banyana Banyana 4-3 in a penalty shootout in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations final, played in Accra, Ghana on Saturday.

With 120 minutes of football failing to produce a goal and with the Nigerians doing well to blot out Banyana star striker Thembi Kgatlana, the game was a to-and-fro affair.

Justice seemed to prevail in the 74th minute when Nigeria were awarded a hotly-disputed penalty after Banyana goalkeeper Kaylin Swart was alleged to have fouled an opposing player.

However, Nigerian striker Asisat Oshoala delivered a poor quality spot-kick, to keep the scoreline level.

Banyana had the better of the scoring opportunities in the first half with Leandra Smeda’s attempted lob over goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi, just going over the Nigerian crossbar in the 10th minute.

Three minutes later, fellow midfielder Mamello Makhabane saw her freekick effort pushed wide of danger by the Nigerian keeper.

This was the 11th time that Nigeria were able to lift the trophy since its inception in 1991, and the fifth tournament final which has seen Banyana end up with the silver medal.

However, all is not lost for Banyana, who by virtue of their 2-0 semifinal win over Mali, booked their spot at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.

– African News Agency (ANA)