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Match Facts: Nigeria women vs South Africa women in history



By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde

When Nigeria’s senior women’s national team faces their opponents from South Africa in the two-legged deciding clash to determine the team that will make it to the Paris 2024 Olympics this month, there is a lot at stake.

Apart from the Paris 2024 women’s football event ticket, the Super Falcons and Banyana Banyana have historical connections and scores to settle.

The hitherto dominance of the West African side over their counterparts from South Africa has gradually waned over the past decade with Nigeria finding it hard to break down the contemporary formidable Banyana Banyana.

Over the past ten encounters between both sides, the Super Falcons have been able to record a meager four wins, the same with South Africa while the other two games ended in draws.

The Super Falcons defeated South Africa in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2018 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) by the slimmest of margins with those victories ending in either 2-1, 1-0, or on penalties as witnessed during the 2018 WAFCON final after regulation time ended 0-0 as Asisat Oshoala missed a penalty before the shootout.

Banyana Banyana on the other hand got the better of the Super Falcons in 2012, 2016, and 2022 WAFCON with slim margins of 1-0 and 2-1 while their biggest win was recorded during the last game of the 2021 Aisha Buhari Cup where Desiree Ellis’ side secured the title with a 4-2 win.

The two games that ended in draws in the last ten meetings between the two teams were friendly matches with 1-1 and 0-0 draws in 2012 ahead that year’s WAFCON.

Worrisome is the fact the Super Falcons are yet to record any victory over Banyana Banyana in regulation time in their last four meetings.

Thembi Kgatlana scored the deciding goal in the group stage of 2018 WAFCON as South Africa edged Super Falcons before they both met in the final match where Nigeria secured the title with 4-3 success on penalties.

At the Aisha Buhari Cup in 2021, a brace from Vivian Ikechukwu could not prevent a 4-2 win for South Africa as Sarah Nnodim (own goal), Linda Motlhalo (brace), and Gabriela Salgado scored for Ellis’ side.

The last meeting between both sides ended 2-1 in favour of Ellis’ side at WAFCON 2022 in Morocco as goals from Jeremaine Seoposenwe and Hilda Magaia ensured that Rasheedat Ajibade’s strike was a mere consolation.

Super Falcons coach, Randy Waldrum has played two games against Ellis’ Banayana Banyana, losing both games in the space of a year in 2021 and 2022 as he was in charge of Nigeria in the last two head-to-head games.

A win for Nigeria after both legs will end their recent lul of form against South Africa that has seen them unable to beat them in their last two games since victory on penalties in 2018.

South Africa’s win will further reinforce their recent rich form against nine-time African champions.

Irrespective of the result, fans are sure to be entertained with the best of women’s football from the two best teams on the continent of Africa.