sports

July 19, 2022

OWN CORRESPONDENT

2 min read

Saved by VAR! Last-gasp penalty steers Banyana Banyana to Women's Afcon final

Saved by VAR! Last-gasp penalty steers Banyana Banyana to Women's Afcon final

Banyana Banyana celebrate 1-0 victory over Zambia

Story highlights

  • SA will face the host nation Morocco in the final on Saturday
  • Banyana defence was kept busy and made to remain focused throughout

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BANYANA Banyana claimed a dramatic 1-0 victory against Zambia at the Mohammed V Stadium in Morocco to book their place in the Women's Africa Cup of Nations final.

South Africa will face the host nation Morocco in the final on Saturday (22:00) at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium.

Banyana were again far from their best in a match that could have gone either way, as Zambia certainly looked as if they were up for the challenge.

The South African defence was kept busy and made to remain focused with Grace Chanda and Siomala Mapepa. The duo paired up in the Zambian attack on numerous occasions to crack and slice open the South African defence that nearly let in a goal or two.

Chanda ensured Andile Dlamini remained sharp as the Banyana keeper made two goal-saving blocks from the Zambian captain, with both efforts provided by Mapepa.

The nerves seemed to have gotten the betterment of Banyana in the first half despite seeing much of the ball but not causing any real threat to Zambia.

Fifteen minutes into the second-half, the referee gave Banyana a penalty after Lushomo Mweeba brought down Noxolo Cesane.

After much deliberation, VAR (Video Assistant Referee) pulled its weight and insisted that it was a free kick instead, which was the correct call.

In the final ten minutes, both Zambia and Banyana went for broke.

Chanda caught Dlamini off her goal line, but her dipping 18-yard strike went wide off the target. 

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A minute later, South Africa nearly took the lead through Hildah Magaia after Jermaine Seoposenwe laid a timely slip-through ball towards her, but Zambia's Catherine Mushonda made a world-class save.

With the match heading towards stoppage time, Seoposenwe was brought down on the edge of the penalty area. Again, VAR was called into action after the referee waved and instructed that play could continue.

After being called to the VAR screen, the referee reversed her decision and pointed to the penalty spot.

The Zambians were befuddled but did not make too much fuss about it.

Linda Motlaho cooly slotted home the penalty with a right-footed strike that entered the bottom left corner that went beyond Mushonda's reach to ensure Banyana reached their fifth Women's Afcon final. - News24

 

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