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Africa Women Cup of Nations

Wafcon 2022: GOAL’s top moments of the tournament

8:28 AM MYT 27/07/2022
Onumonu, Motlhalo, Nali
GOAL’s Ed Dove picks out his six standout moments from the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations
  • Jermaine Seoposenwe, Banyana Banyana against Nigeria, July 2022

    Super Falcons stunned

    Nigeria vs South Africa was always going to be the standout fixture of the Wafcon group stage, and the clash didn’t disappoint.

    It was a rematch of the 2018 Nations Cup final, but on this occasion, Banyana Banyana got the better of their opponents.

    It was Hildah Magaia’s 63rd-minute goal—a first-time left-footed effort that left Tochukwu Oluehi sprawling.

    South Africa’s 2-1 triumph set the tone for both teams’ tournaments, with Nigeria enduring their joint worst ever tournament, and Banyana—of course—going on to glory.

  • Sandrine Niyonkuru of Burundi

    Niyonkuru vs Botswana

    Arguably the Goal of the Tournament, Sandrine Niyonkuru’s volley against Botswana was a thing of beauty.

    First to react after Botswana failed to clear their lines from a corner.

    Waiting for the ball to drop, the Tanzania-based attacker slammed a delicious volley beyond Mamelodi Sundowns goalkeeper Sedilame Boseja.

    The effort just evaded the keeper, but dropped beneath the goalline off the bar, and while it wasn’t enough for Burundi to avoid defeat, it was a wonderful moment for the Wafcon debutants in their first ever goal in the competition.

  • Hazel Nali Zambia 2022.

    Hazel Nali vs Senegal

    Zambia goalkeeper Nali has come in for her fair share of criticism since the Olympics in Japan last year, when the Copper Queens conceded 10 goals in their opening match—a bludgeoning at the hands of the Netherlands.

    However, she’s turned things around dramatically, and 12 months on, has been one of the key protagonists in Zambia’s terrific Nations Cup campaign.

    She kept three clean sheets, but the highlight was her winning penalty against Senegal—where Nali saved from Ndeye Awa Diakhate before stepping up to convert the decisive spotkick.

    Her goal—which sent Zambia to the semi-finals and to the World Cup—prompted delirious celebrations from the Copper Queens.

  • Linda Motlhalo of Banyana

    Linda Motlhalo vs Zambia

    Motlhalo was unfortunate to have missed out on GOAL’s Team of the Tournament following several massive moments for South Africa as they marched to the final.

    Her biggest contribution—of course—came in that controversial semi-final, when she had the courage to step up in the 94th minute to convert from the spot after Martha Tembo was judged—questionably—to have fouled Jermaine Seoposenwe.

    It was a tough moment for the Shepolopolo, but Motlhalo deservedly had her moment in the spotlight after several star performances.

  • Ifeoma Onumonu of Nigeria, Super Falcons

    Atlas Lionesses dispatch Nigeria

    After that opening defeat by South Africa—and the loss of Asisat Oshoala—Nigeria had appeared to have turned things around as they picked up consecutive victories against Botswana, Burundi and Cameroon.

    However, they came unstuck—emphatically—against Morocco in the semi, where the Falcons were reduced to nine players before falling on penalties when Ifeoma Onumonu fluffed her lines.

    It was an emphatic de-crowning for the reigning champions as their title defence went down in flames, while Morocco—in front of their adoring home support—continued their fairytale run on home soil.

  • Moroccan player Hanane Ait El Haj and South Africa player Hildah Magaia (R), July 2022

    Hildah Magaia’s double

    It took just eight magical minutes in the second half for Hildah Magaia to fire Banyana to their first ever continental crown.

    She opened the scoring with a 63rd-minute cool left-footed finish from Jermaine Seoposenwe’s cut-back, before doubling the visitors’ advantage when she capitalised on Nesryne El Chad’s error.

    Was this the greatest moment in South African soccer since Bafana Bafana won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996?