Awcon 2018: South Africa 2-0 Mali: Banyana Banyana sets final date with Nigeria



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Banyana Banyana will face the Super Falcons in Saturday's final after dispatching Les Aiglonnes in Cape Coast on Tuesday

A goal in both teams was enough to lead South Africa to a 2-0 win in the semi-final against Mali at the CAF African Nations Cup in Ghana on Tuesday.

Houston Dash striker Thembi Kgatlana and Lebogang Ramalepe emerged heroines for Banyana Banyana at Cape Coast Stadium as their bouts mark a final encounter with eighth-time champion Nigeria on Saturday.

The result also earned Desiree Ellis a qualifying ticket for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France.

South African coach Desiree Ellis made a change in the team that drew 1-1 with Zambia in their last game, restoring Jermaine Seoposenwe to XI for Busiswe Ndimeni.

Mali coach Mohamed Saloum Houssein, on the other hand, has introduced three new players in his starting eleven. Binta Diarra, Yakare Niakate and Djenaba Baradji have taken the places of Lala Dicko, Aminata Doucoure and Agueissa Diarra for the last four games.

Janine Van Wyk, the captain of Banyana Banyana, opened the first attempt of goal, with a free-kick in the third minute, before Nothando Vilakazi made another throw over the bar moments later.

In the 31st minute, South Africa registered the opening goal with none other than the top scorer of the competition Thembi Kgatlana, who took his count to five.

After Rafiloe Jane apparently deflected a high kick, the US-based striker struck out with a free kick from Salimata Diarra and fired a right-footed shot into the bottom left corner of the net.

Mali's first-half effort came in the offense when Diarra's shot hit the goal shortly after Bassira Toure's goalkeeper was sent off when South Africa goalkeeper Kaylin Swart turned aside with a free.

There were even less clear chances for both sides after the recess.

The shot from Linda Motlhaho in the 75th minute from outside the penalty area was the first test for Mali goalkeeper Adoudou Konate.

Then there was a goal out of nowhere for South Africa when Ramalepe caught Konate by surprise with a bolt from outside the box.

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Mali tried to mount a late fight, but Banyana Banyana decided firmly for a famous victory.

Les Aiglonnes face Cameroon, who lost 4-2 on penalties to Nigeria in the first semi-final in third place on Friday.

The winner of the penultimate tournament will also join the two finalists of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019.

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