Nigeria Super Falcons have retained the AWCON trophy after beating South Africa 4-3 on penalties in the final game played at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday.
The match had ended 0-0 after 120 minutes, with Nigeria’s goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi making the trophy-winning save in the shoot-out from the boot of South Africa’s Linda Motlhalo.
Dubbed revenge or repeat by football pundits, the game was highly entertaining living up to its pre-match hype. Both teams had already met on match day 1 of Group B and it was the South Africans who emerged winners following a late strike in the 85th minute by Chrestinah Kgatlana.
The game started on a heated note with South Africa on the front foot and Jermaine Seoposenwe fired the first warning with along rage shot from 25 yards out, but Nigeria goalkeeper Oluehi Tochukwu was equal to the task.
Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala responded with a goal bound header two minutes later which was parried to safety by South Africa goalkeeper, Christen Swart.
There was no dull moment in the remaining minutes of the regulation time despite the barren score line.
In the 72nd minute, Nigeria had a golden chance to score the opener after South Africa goalkeeper Christen Swart fouled Nigeria’s Francisca Ordega in the box and were awarded a penalty. However Asisat Oshoala’s kick went wayward.
With nothing to separate both teams even after extra time, there came the lottery of penalties and it was Nigeria who converted four of their kicks as against three for South Africa to win the 2018 Africa Women’s Championship.
The result leaves Nigeria with nine titles (1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2018).
Total Woman of the Match: Francisca Ordega (Nigeria)