The greatest african women football rivalry will be re-ignited again on Saturday as Nigeria’s Super Falcons do battle with South Africa’s Banyana Banyana in the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations Final.
Nigeria secured pass to the final by defeating Cameroon 4-2 on penalties while South Africa defeated Mali 2-0 in normal time. With these victories, Nigeria and South Africa have booked their tickets to the 2019 FIFA women’s World Cup, holding in France.
Nigeria is the most successful nation in the tournament’s history and the defending champion, having won a record 10 titles, meaning they have won all but two of the previous tournaments.
This statistic is a major morale booster ahead of the final on Saturday and South Africa will be extra motivated also to defeat Nigeria, the defending champions and win the tournament.
Nigeria will go into the match knowing they have to be professional to see the game through and speaking ahead of the match Nigeria Coach Dannerby, in a statement to CAF said his team are focused on the match.
He said. “For now we celebrate and prepare for the final match on Saturday. We are happy that we have won the game and picked one of the three tickets to the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Like I said yesterday, now that we have that out of the way, the next target is retaining the trophy.”
Nigeria Possible lineup:
Star player Asisat Oshoala, Captain Francisca Ordega and Desire Oparanozie are lined up to start. Goalkeeper Tochuckwu Okuehi is expected to also start.
Speaking ahead of the match, South Africa coach Desiree Ellis stated that they have been making plans to win their first AWCON against Nigeria.
She said, “We will celebrate tonight and start preparing for the final. We are not a team that talk much in the media.
“We will work together as a team and plan again. And hope to execute the plan because that’s all it is about.
“We have never won the Women’s AFCON and we are going to give it shot and see what happens on the weekend.”
South Africa had defeated Nigeria 1-0 in the opening match of the group and that was a wake up call for Nigeria who went ahead to defeat Equitorial Guinea 6-0 in the next match. Bafana Bafana will try to play knowing the Super Falcons will be on a revenge mission.
South Africa Possible lineup:
Banyana Banyana vice-captain Rofiloe Jane will miss the final due to a injury. Kaylin Swart (GK), Lebohang Ramalepe, Nothando Vilakazi, Janine Van Wyk (captain), Bambanani Mbane, Mamello Makhabane, Linda Motlhalo, Thembi Kgatlana and a host of others are expected to be given the nod to start the match.
Nigeria 4 – 3 South Africa (penalties)