Nigeria………….. (0)2 (Vivian Ikechukwu 46’, 53’)
South Africa….. (3)4 (Alozie Chidi 5’(OG), Linda Motlhalo 17’ (P),Gabriela Salgado 43’, Mamello Makhabane 86’(P) )
22 September 2021 – Banyana Banyana got their revenge against the Super Falcons of Nigeria after a comprehensive 4-2 victory to clinch the Maiden Edition of the Aisha Buhari Invitational Tournament in Lagos, Nigeria on Tuesday, 21 September 2021.
The most anticipated women football fixture on the continent didn’t disappoint as the visitors had the last laugh, walloping the Falcons in their backyard and lift the prized trophy.
Banyana Banyana were by far the most polished side of the two and by half time had raced to a comfortable 3-0 lead.
However, a second half comeback by the Falcons, urged on by the home fans threatened to overturn the applecart but the battle hardened visitors dug deep and by the end of 90 minutes, were full value of their 4-2 final score.
The Moboloji Johnson Stadium was packed to the rafters and the home crowd was buoyant before a scintillating performance from Banyana Banyana silenced them.
Nigeria’s Olozie Chidi’s 5th minute own goal set the tone for what was to come and when Linda Motlhalo added a second from the spot on the 17th minute, the writing was on the wall for the home side. And when Gabriela Salgado added a third goal for South Africa, the hosts sunk their heads.
But a half-time pep talk from the hosts coach saw the Falcons come back with guns blazing scoring two quick goals to set up a tantalising finish.
The Nigerians got their goals from Vivian Ikechukwu in the 46th minute before completing her brace in the 53rd minute.
Substitutions by the South African technical team changed the dynamic of the game once again and Desiree Ellis’ side put the final nail in the coffin in the dying minutes of the match when the outstanding Motlhalo was brought down inside the box. Substitute Mamello Makhabane made no mistake from the spot, sending the opposition goalkeeper the wrong way.
Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis was full of praise for her players who she believed displayed confidence and character to win the game.
“Looking back at the game, we were in control most of the time, we played at the tempo that we wanted. We controlled a lot of aspects of the game though we gave a lot of free kicks away which was dangerous but we handled it very well,’’ said a jubilant Ellis.
“Going into the second half we discussed that they were going to come and we needed to stay concentrated, we need to make sure that we put the foot on the ball but we did not do that and the two goals came quickly from our errors.”
“I think the players showed a lot of confidence and character to take the control back. We took control and we managed the game very well.
“The victory is not just for us here in Nigeria but it is everyone back home who has been involved and has contributed to women’s football from Sasol to Hollywood Super League,” added Ellis.
Banyana Banyana will depart for South Africa on Wednesday, 22 September to start preparing for the COSAFA Cup scheduled to take place in Nelson Mandela Bay from 28 September to 9 October.