Serial winners Nigeria beat South Africa 4-3 on penalties to retain the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations title at the 2018 edition in Ghana, extending their record to a ninth win.
Saturday’s final at the Accra Sports Stadium ended barren after 90 minutes with both sides also failing to break the deadlock in extra time.
The Super Falcons were presented a glorious opportunity to take the lead in the 75th minute when Francisca Ordega got caught in the penalty area by goalkeeper Kaylin Swart.
But top star Asisat Oshoala terribly missed the spot-kick with a misdirected strike.
Both sides squared each other with numerous missed chances in extra time with the game needing a tiebreaker.
As nervy as the 120 minutes of play was, so the penalty shootout turned out.
Nigeria started the kicks with defender Onome Ebi hitting the upright but the Super Falcons recovered in the kicks to triumph 4-3.
Ngozi Ebere, skipper Rita Chikwelu, Ihezuo Veronica and Chinaza Love Uchendu all scored for Nigeria.
Lebogang Ramalepe missed the penalty which got Nigeria back in the reckoning. But Uchendu’s converted fifth kick appeared to have turned on the pressure on Linda Motlhalo who saw her kick well-saved by goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi.
Nigeria’s Francisca Ordega was named Woman of the final but South Africa’s Christineh Thembi Kgatlana emerged the overall best player at the 11th Women’s Afcon, Ghana 2018. She also won the top scorer award with five goals.
Both Nigeria and South Africa as well as third-placed Cameroon qualified from the tournament to represent Africa at the Fifa Women’s World Cup France 2019.
— Total Women's Africa Cup of Nations (@CAF_AWCON) December 1, 2018
Nigeria XI: Oluehi Tochukwu – Josephine Chiwendu, Osinach Marvis Ohale, Onome Ebi (c), Ngozi Ebere – Halimatu Ibrahim Ayinde, Rita Chikwelu, Ngozi Sonia Okobi – Asisat Oshoala, Rasheedat Ajibade/62’ Ihezuo Veronica, Francisca Ordega/112’ Chinaza Love Uchendu
Glory Ogbonna, Anam Mary, Amarachi Grace, Faith Michael, Desire Oparanozie, Chiamaka Cynthia, Nnodim Sarah, Christy Udogadi
South Africa XI: Kaylin Swart – Lebogang Ramalepe, Janine Van Wyk (c), Bambanani Mbane, Nothando Vilakazi – Mamello Makhabane, Leandra Smeda/68’ Noko Alice Matlou, Busisiwe Ndimeni/73’ Nompumelelo Nyandeni – Linda Motlhalo, Thembi Kgatlana, Jermaine Seoposenwe
Andile Dlamini, Roxanne Barker, Tiisetso Makhubela, Koketso Tlailane, Amanda Mthandi, Kgaelebane Mohlakoana, Melinda Kgadiete