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Banyana Banyana Dominate AWC Despite Final Loss To Nigeria

Despite finishing as runners-up to Nigeria at the recently concluded Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana, Banyana Banyana dominated most proceedings at the 13th edition of the tournament.

Read: Banyana Banyana Up For Three CAF Awards

The South Africans, who finished the tournament as the only team that did not lose a match in normal regulation time, stole all the highlights as five of their players were drafted into the Team of the Tournament.

They also scored the most goals in the tournament, 11, and conceded just two.

Captain Janine Van Wyk, Lebohang Ramalepe, Thembi Kgatlana, Linda Motlhalo and Kaylin Swart all made it into the 17-woman team that was announced during the awards ceremony.

Kgatlana, who scored in each and every match except for the final, finished the tournament as the top goalscorer with five goals from five outings and received three consecutive Women of the Match awards.

It was also double delight for the 22-year-old striker who was voted as the overall Player of the Tournament for the silver medalists.

Desiree Ellis’ charges also achieved another major feat as they qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be staged in France next year.

In the CAF Awards nominees list announced on Thursday, Banyana Banyana also scooped three major selections. Kgatlana was nominated for the Women’s Player of the Year alongside her club and national team player Van Wyk. Head coach Ellis notched up the Women’s Coach of the Year nominee and the team was also nominated for the Women’s  National Team of the Year alongside Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana.

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The team pocketed just over R2 million for their second place finish and the players will each pocket R 40 000 for participating in the continental showpiece.

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