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Mon Dec 05 17:12:32 SAST 2016

Banyana go down to Ghana in women's Afcon bronze-medal match

Tiisetso Malepa | 2016-12-02 18:31:42.0
Banyana Banyana failed to collect a medal at the 2016 African Women's Nations Cup played in Cameroon.
Image by: Tiyani wa ka Mabasa

Banyana Banyana failed to cap their impressive run at the 2016 African Women's Nations Cup with a medal after losing 1-0 to Ghana in the bronze-medal match on Friday afternoon.

Linda Eshun's second half goal was enough to hand the Black Queens a third-place finish and a bronze medal as the West Africans denied interim head coach Desire Ellis' side a medal in front of a lively crowd in Yaounde.

The South Africans were by far the better side in the first half and should have taken the lead on the half hour mark through Refiloe Jane.

The midfielder found herself unmarked at the far post to connect with an inch-perfect cross from the right and could hardly believe as Ghana keeper Patricia Mantey tipped her powerful header over the cross bar.

Banyana captain Janine van Wyk also had a crack at goal with a long range free kick but again the Black Queen's keeper was equal to the task.

Ghana hardly troubled Andile Dlamini in the Banyana goal in the first half as Ellis' charges dished out a disciplined display in defence and enjoyed the lion's share of possesion.

But a lapse of concentration four minutes after the half time break gave the Black Queens the lead.

Banyana left Eshun unmarked at the far post and the defender headed home the only goal of the match to hand the West Africans a bronze medal after a 10-year absence in the competition.

The South Africans, like in their 1-0 semi final defeat against Nigeria on Tuesday evening, tried to find their way back into the match to no avail.

Banyana have played some scintillating football in this tournament but failed to make it count when it mattered the most – in the knock-out stages.

They opened their Group A match with a goalless draw against Zimbabwe and followed that up with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of tournament hosts Cameroon.

But they bounced back in their final group match with a 5-0 thrashing of Egypt to advance to the semifinals against defending champions and nine-time champions Nigeria, who for the first third time knocked the South African at this state of the competition.

- TMG Digital/ TMG Sport

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