Awcon2018Final: Super Falcons Seek Redemption Against Banyana
Bragging rights and trophy are on the line as defending champions Nigeria take on South Africa in the final of the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (Awcon) in Accra on Saturday.
The defending champions booked a place in the final after recording a hard-fought 4-2 win over Cameroon on penalties in the semi-finals in Accra on Tuesday, while South Africa edged past Mali 2-0 to advance.
The win also confirmed both teams’ places at next year’s Fifa Women’s World Cup in France.
The Super Falcons are seeking a record ninth African crown, while their opponents are aiming for their first ever title. But there is more at stake.
Nigeria were beaten 1-0 by the youthful Banyana Banyana in their Group B opener on 18 November. Revenge is on their mind.
As for South Africa, they are determined to defeat the experienced Nigerians again to make history.
Talking about history, it is hugely on the side of the eight-time African champions. They have never lost in the final of the AWCON. They have never lost twice to the same side in an edition, and Banyana failed to win in three final matches of which one was against Nigeria in 2000.
But South Africa have had the better of the Falcons on two occasions – 1-0 semi-final win in 2012 and 1-0 win in the group phase in 2018 – meaning they know what it takes to defeat Nigeria.
And with Nigeria’s seemingly struggling to dispatch African teams they hitherto breezed through, the South Africans, who are unbeaten at this tournament, will fancy their chances.
However, speaking ahead of the final duel, after his team fought hard to overcome Cameroon on penalties in the semis, Thomas Dennerby said the Nigerian ladies will subdue their opponents.
“It was really a tough game [against Cameroon], a lot of players are tired, it’s time for recovery and I will say we have a good chance to win in the final,” he said.
“When it comes to the final we will do whatever it takes to bring the cup back to Nigeria.”
More to come…