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Sports News of Wednesday, 22 September 2021


Aisha Buhari Cup: South Africa’s Banyana Banyana emerge champions

The photo used to illustrate the story The photo used to illustrate the story

Banyana Bayana of South Africa have emerged champions of the inaugural Aisha Buhari Cup tourney.

The invitational tournament had six African teams on parade with all of them playing two games each.

The South Africans defeated nine-time African Champions, Super Falcons of Nigeria 4-2 on Tuesday at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, Lagos.

Both the Super Falcons coach and his South African counterparts made two changes to their teams that won their opening games.

Randy Waldrum opted for the duo of Regina Otu Ibiang and Uchenna Kanu Grace ahead of Ngozi Okobi Ekeoghene and Francisca Ordega respectively.

Desiree Elise, on her part, picked the duo of Makhubele Tiisetso and Melinda Kgatlana while dropping Makhabane Mamello and Holweni Sibulele to the bench.

Though the Super Falcons started brightly, it was the South Africans that got the opening goal.

A cross by Magaia Hildah was directed into the back of her net by Michelle Alozie for South Africa’s first goal of the game.

While the Falcons were trying to get back into the game, Nigeria’s Onome Ebi was adjuged to have handled the ball in the box.

The referee wasted no time in pointing to the spot for a penalty and yellow card issued to Ebi.

Motlhalo Linda converted the resulting penalty to double Banyana Banyana’s lead in the 18th minute.

Two minutes later, Desire Oparanozie thought she had scored for Nigeria but the referee blew for an infringement by Asisat Oshoala.

Despite the pressure from Nigeria, South Africa increased their lead to three in the 44th minute by Salgado Gabriela off a goalmouth scramble.

In the second half, Randy Waldrum brought in Vivian Ikechukwu, Monday Gift, Opeyemi Sunday, and Onyebuchi Ihuoma for Uchenna Kanu, Joy Bokiri, Michelle Alozie, and Rita Chikwelu respectively.

The changes by the Falcons coach proved effective as Vivian Ikechukwu pulled a goal back for Nigeria just after resumption

The Rivers Angels midfielder was on target again in the 53rd minute again as the scoreline became 3-2.

While the Super Falcons were pressing for an equaliser, their hearts were broken when Makhabane Mamello restored South Africa’s two-goal lead in the 86th minute from the penalty spot.

With the ABC tournament over, both sides will now focus on their 2022 African Cup of Nations (AWCON) Qualifiers.