Nigeria claim ninth AWCON title after beating South Africa in shoot-out drama

Nigeria stunned South Africa in a dramatic penalty shoot-out at the Accra Sports Stadium to lift the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations for the ninth time.

Just like in the semifinal game against Cameroon, Nigeria prevailed on penalties after the full 90 minutes and extra time failed to produce any goals.

Nigeria failed only once in the shoot-out, with Onome Ebi hitting the post with the opening penalty. South Africa missed twice — Lebohang Ramalepe fired wide of the post, while Linda Mothalyo saw her spot kick saved.

With Chinaza Uchendu scoring Nigeria’s last spot kick and Linda Mothalyo given the task of taking Banyana Banyana’s last kick, the shootout was on the brink of progressing to sudden death. However, Tochukwu dived brilliantly to her right to deny the midfielder to ensure Nigeria won 4-3, and claim their third consecutive AWCON title.

Onome Ebi missed Nigeria’s first penalty as she hit the upright but Ngozi Ebere, Rita Chikwelu, Chiwendu Ihezuo and Chinaza Uchendu were all successful.

Having lost to Desiree Ellis’ side in the group stage, the Nigerians were determined to get revenge. Well, that determination paid off.

When Asisat Oshoala blew away the chance to win the game for Thomas Dennerby’s side in the second half, as she fired wide of the upright from the penalty spot, it looked like the final was going to swing in South Africa’s favour. But the Super Falcons managed to hold off the South Africans, and came out victorious in the shoot-out.

Oluehi pulled off a brilliant save to deny Memello Makhabane in extra time. Jermaine Seoposenwe won a freekick 25m out after being fouled by Rita Chikwelu. Makhabane unleashed a fierce shot towards goal. It looked like the ball was destined for the top right corner, the Rivers Angels goalkeeper to push the ball over the crossbar.

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