South Africa made history at the fully packed Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium on Saturday night as they defeated host nation Morocco 2-1 to clinch the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON).
A second-half brace from Hildah Magaia was enough to hand Banyana Banyana a famous victory on their sixth attempt, having lost five previous Women’s AFCON finals – 1995, 2000, 2008, 2012 and 2018.
Five Sundowns Ladies played a part in this momentous occasion as Coach Desiree Ellis’s troops completed the tournament in Morocco with a perfect record, as well as securing qualification to next year’s Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Andile ‘Sticks’ Dlamini was ever dependable for South Africa. Thanks to her shot-stopping abilities, Banyana conceded just three goals en route to the title. Thus, the Sundowns Ladies goalie was named the ‘Goalkeeper of the Tournament’. Andile was also named the Best Goalkeeper of the Group Stage by CAF.
Another Sundowns player who featured heavily was Karabo Dhlamini who played mainly as a left-back during the tournament. Her ability to bomb forward and dominate the flanks on both ends was pivotal to her team’s success. Her presence on the left side of the defense further highlights the 20-year-old’s versatility.
Bambanani ‘Juice’ Mbane was a solid defensive rock in the Banyana backline. Her ability to read the game and launch timely tackles came in handy throughout the competition. After bossing the inaugural edition of the CAF Women’s Champions League last year, Juice showed her class yet against on the continental scene.
Thalea Smidt showed her exploits in the midfield whenever she was called upon. The industrious midfielder was a constant ball-winner and ball-mover as Coach Desiree’s charges dominated proceedings in Morocco.
Melinda Kgadiete showed her mettle as an impact player as the versatile forward featured in five of six Banyana games at the tournament. Her shot power, mazy runs and tracking back were valuable contributions to SA’s success in Morocco.
All five players equally played vital roles in last season’s treble-winning campaign as Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies conquered the Hollywoodbets Super League, COSAFA CAF Women’s Champions League qualifiers and the inaugural edition of the CAF Women’s Champions League in Egypt.
Massive Congratulations to Banyana Banyana for making history in Morocco. A big shout out to the entire team, coaches and technical crew for a job well done. We also congratulate our Ladies for a solid job done in Morocco!