After Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea, South Africa became the third nation to join the African Cup of Nations gold record after defeating hosts Morocco 2-1 in the 14th edition to win the title for the first time in its history. Final at Moulay Abdullah Stadium in Rabat. In front of more than 50 thousand viewers.
It was South Africa’s second continental title after the men’s team won the African title in 1996.
The Banyana Banana national team coach, Desiree Ellis, praised the performance of his players, saying after the match, “They scored two great goals, they wanted so badly to win this trophy and now they have achieved it.”
For his part, French coach Renault Petros said, “We faced a team that was better than us.”
After reaching the semi-finals, Morocco became the first Arab team to qualify for the Women’s World Cup finals, which will be held in New Zealand and Australia between July 20 and August 20, 2023, in its next edition.
South Africa, Nigeria and Zambia qualified for the African continent, while Senegal and Cameroon qualified for the international playoffs.
Many of the Moroccan fans who accompanied the women’s team throughout the tournament believe the players’ performance was a “fairytale” as the host nation handed out a consolation prize to its player Khoslan Al-Shabak, Najla Al-Arabi. Al-Shabak, the star of the men’s team in the seventies, won the tournament’s man of the match award. .
A cautious first half prevailed as both teams played defensively, with coach Desiree Ellis, who won the African Continent’s Coach of the Year award, a clear favourite.
Hilda Majaya opened up a chance for South Africa with a weak ball past Morocco goalkeeper Khadijah Al-Ramichi, who was saved on the goal line by Hanan Aide El Hajj, and the Moroccan women, under the supervision of French coach Renault Petros, played down the difficulty of building attacks and the inconsistency of passes.
South Africa came close to scoring when Nomwola Kjuwali fired a powerful long-range free kick that hit the crossbar on its way out of the field.
Hilda Majaya, a professional in South Korea, was alone and made to pay after entering the penalty area, but goalkeeper Al-Rumaishi blocked the ball with her body and legs before Nisreen Al-Shaad dispossessed her.
Hot on the heels of South African defenders, Tottenham’s Rosella Al-Ayen had the first Moroccan chance with a shot into the side of the goal after a personal effort by Fatima Technout.
Petros tried to activate the right flank with the addition of Samia Hassani, then lost the efforts of defender Zainab Al-Ratwani through injury, forcing him to replace him with Ghaslan Al-Shahiri.
Bania Banyana opened the scoring after an organized attack led by Braga player Jermaine Ciobosinai, and turned the ball over after the Morocco defense failed to cover for Majaya, who was out of control. Goalkeeper Al-Rumaichi in the 63rd minute.
Magaya doubled his country’s lead when he capitalized on a terrible mistake from Nisreen El’s shot to turn the ball past the goalkeeper to score a proper goal in the 71st minute.
Lion sent the Moroccan crowd into a frenzy with a superb follow-up into the net after he reduced the deficit in the 80th minute after combining with substitutes Ibtisam Zaradi and Fatima Teknoud.
The Moroccan women, despite their lack of fitness, tried to level the score with most of their players attacking and they had one last chance when Yasmin headed the ball past Cleats, but it went over the bar in the 98th. min.
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