Banyana Banyana edged hosts Morocco 2-1 in the TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday in Rabat in a highly contested tie that brought out the best of both teams.
At the heart of this success was goalkeeper Andile Dlamini who kept three clean sheets in the six games that Banyana Banyana played at this tournament.
Her efforts were rewarded when she walked away with the Goalkeeper of the Year Award – an award that she dedicated to her family for their enormous support.
“In 2018, I was watching from the bench and I told myself that I want to play next time. As a team, we have worked hard to achieve this and this means so much,” Dlamini said while biting her gold medal.
Her teammate Hilda Magaia whose brace secured the WAFCON title for South Africa was named the Woman of the Match and finished as joint top scorer at the 2022 edition with three goals alongside Moroccan captain Ghizlane Chebbak and Nigeria’s Rasheedat Ajibade.
South Africa, who were named the National Team of the Year, were also named as the Fair Play Team.
“Honestly, it has not yet dawned on us that we are African champions. This feels like a dream to us. I know eventually when we sit down, we shall realize that it is actually true. When we look back at the journey, it is going to be a tough one,” Refiloe Jane, South Africa’s captain revealed with deep emotion.
“When I lifted the trophy, there was so much going through my mind. This is big for South Africa, for Women’s Football. I cannot wait to get back home. They have been supporting us since day one. Today, we saw a united South Africa. It is something that we had hoped for. We wanted to bring hope and bring back smiles to South Africans. We are grateful for the support that they have shown to us.”
Meanwhile, Chebbak whose performance has consistently wowed everyone during the tournament was named as the Player of the Tournament.