Banyana Banyana are bringing the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) 2022 home to South Africa.
Unfazed Banyana – the CAF Team of the Year – entered the filled to capacity Atlas Lionesses’ den and like the biblical Daniel emerged 2-1 winners.
Although Morocco slew giants Nigeria in the semi-final, in the final on Saturday night the South Africans proved to be more skilful and determined.
After a hard-fought goalless first half, Banyana were a different proposition for the hosts in the second half.
In eight blistering minutes, South Africa went 2 goals ahead with Hilda Magaia doing the damage.
Magaia, who plays for Sejong Sportstoto in South Korea, scored in the 63 and 71st minutes.
The first goal was a gem – Magaia slotted the ball in the net after receiving a cutback from Banyana winger Jermaine Seoposenwe.
The second goal was a gift. Moroccan defender Nesryne El Chad failed to control the ball and it fell kindly to Magaia.
She didn’t look the gift horse in the mouth and simply put the ball past Moroccan goalkeeper Khadija Err-michi for the second time in quick succession.
Morocco fought back and pulled one back through Rosella Ayane, who plays for Tottenham Hotspur in England.
Even with an added nine minutes, the Atlas Lionesses found the going tough and the equaliser remained elusive until the final whistle.
Banyana won the title after five attempts. The South Africans came up short in four previous finals in in 2000, 2008, 2012 and 2018.
This time around, the South African Football Association promised a bonus of R400 000 to each Banyana player for winning WAFCON.
Banyana goalminder Andile Dlamini was named WAFCON Goalkeeper of the Tournament.
Banyana – the WAFCON Fair Play winners – have also qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year from 20 July to 20 August 2023.