WAFCON 2022 Semifinal: South Africa enters final, Super Falcons fall to Morocco
Africa will see a new Women’s champion in 2022 with South Africa and Morocco seeking to win their first WAFCON title.
The penultimate stages of the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) was decided on Monday as the last four standing teams in the competition, decided their fates in Casablanca and Rabat.
For South Africa and Morocco it was a day to jubilate, while Zambia and nine-time champions Nigeria, had to settle for one more match – Friday’s third-place playoff.
Here is a quick round up of how the semifinal matches went down.
Zambia 0-1 South Africa
South Africa defeated Zambia 1-0 at the Stade Mohamed V in Casablanca thanks to a stoppage-time penalty that Linda Motlhalo successfully converted.
The COSAFA derby was a game of two halves, with South Africa taking control after the interval and Zambia dominating the first.
The game-changing incident occurred in the additional time following a VAR review of a foul on Jermaine Seoposenwe.
In the fourth minute of added time, Sweden-based midfielder Mothalo scored a right-footed goal into the bottom left corner to guarantee her nation’s position in the championship game.
The Banyana Banyana then ensured they saw out the rest of the game valiantly, defeat the Copper Queens and advance to their second consecutive final of Africa’s premier women’s football competition, and fifth overall in the competition’s history.
Desiree Ellis and her charges will wait to square off in Saturday’s final match at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat.
Morocco 1-1 (AET) Nigeria (5-4 on penalties)
Nigeria’s dream to lift the WAFCON for the 10th time came to an end after Morocco defeated the Super Falcons 5-4 via penalty shootout.
The high-intensity encounter saw two Super Falcons: Halimatu Ayinde and Rasheedat Ajibade, sent off in the second half for two malicious tackles.
Barely minutes after going down to ten women, the Falcons broke the deadlock through substitute Uchenna Kalu.
The lead, however, lasted just four minutes before a poor error from goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie gifted Sanaa Mssoudy the equaliser, for the Atlas Lionesses.
Things would go from bad to worse for Nigeria when the Falcons were reduced to nine women with 20 minutes to go.
The defending champions did hold their own against the Moroccans, who expectedly dominated thereafter but couldn’t find the winner as the game went into extra time.
There was nothing to separate both sides in the extra time, and the game would be decided on penalties, with all but Nigeria’s Ifeoma Onumonu converting their spot kicks.
Having defeated the nine-time champions, Morocco will take on South Africa in Saturday’s final, their first-ever. Nigeria, on the other hand, will take on Zambia in an unfamiliar third-place game on Friday.