Algeria……….. (1)1 (Sylia Koui 45′)
South Africa…(0)1 (Linda Motlhalo 62′,P)
(South Africa beat Algeria 3-1 on aggregate)
24 February 2022 – The South African Senior Women’s team booked their spot in the 12th edition of the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) after a 3-1 aggregate victory over Algeria on Wednesday evening.
It was a pulsating encounter in which Banyana Banyana rose to the occasion and controlled their destiny.
Coach Desiree Ellis’ side could have taken the lead early in the first half but were denied a couple of times by agile Algerian goalkeeper Chloe Yamina N’gazi.
On the other end, the hosts thought they had found the opener in the 27th minute but had their goal chalked off for a foul on goalkeeper Andile Dlamini.
It was however not long before they found the breakthrough on the verge of halftime wihen Sylia Koui slotted past Dlamini.
The visitors knew what was at stake in the second half and piled on the pressure that resulted in a penalty in the 61st minute and Linda Motlhalo stepped up to fire the resultant kick into the back of the ner to put Banyana Banyana in commanding position.
An elated Ellis admitted she was concerned after her side had wasted early chances that could have settled matters early.
“Our finishing was poor,. We could have been 3 or 4 goals up by the time they scored their opening goal. Even with their goal, we could have defended better,” said Ellis.
“But this team has a lot of courage and determination. They have been in this position before and we just needed to keep on playing. We felt that they were not a threat except for the long balls that they kept playing and the set pieces they had.
“We always knew that we would get another chance and once the penalty went it, we were in control of the game and played our game,” added Ellis.
“Credit to Algeria for their fighting spirit but I believe the experience that we have brought us to this point,” concluded Ellis.
Sasol’s Brand and Sponsorship Manager: Dean Somerset who is in Algeria to support Banyana Banyana could not contain his excitement after witnessing the great plan come together, and the South African side walking away victorious after securing a spot at the AWCON.
“The heart-stopping end of the first half for Banyana Banyana didn’t deter their spirits which continued to be high throughout the match, and this contributed to the team’s victory,” he said.
“We saw the embodiment of the limitless attitude, with the display of great team effort from the players, coaching staff, and the broader team management. As Sasol, we are grateful to be part of a winning team.,” Dean concluded.