Nigeria Dump South Africa Out Of Paris 2024 Olympics

  • As Super Falcons best Bayana Bayana 1-0 on aggregate
  • Return to global sporting showpiece after 16 years absence

BY VICTOR OSOWOCHI – Super Falcons of Nigeria on Tuesday night secured a ticket for the Paris 2024 Olympics following a barren draw with Banyana Banyana of South Africa who failed to find the net in regulation time.

The goalless stalemate proved enough for the Nigerian ladies to compete in their fifth Olympics Women’s Football Tournament. Their last appearance in the Olympic Games was in the 2008 edition in Beijing, China

The 11-time African champions came into the tie with a 1-0 victory from the first leg tie in Abuja and needed just a draw to bag the ticket to feature in the global sporting showpiece and they did just enough to frustrate the current African champions who failed to break their resolute fighting spirit and strong defenceline.

Despite sending numbers forward, the South Africans could hardly trouble the Nigerian defenders and it was only Thembi Kgatlana who got close in the 48th minute after being put through on goal but saw her attempt going wide off target.

In the 85th minute, Amogelang Motau almost sent the game into extra time after being set up by Kgatlana, but her tamed strike was easily gathered by keeper Nnadozie as the Super Falcons remained disciplined in defending to keep the South African at bay.

Though Desiree Ellis’ team intensified pressure, they lacked clinical finishing in crucial areas. With the final whistle blown and the scoreline remaining 0-0, the Super Falcons secured advancement to the Olympic Games courtesy of their 1-0 aggregate win.

Meanwhile despite the disappointing result, Banyana Banyana right back, Lebohang Ramalepe was awarded her 100 cap milestone jersey after the match by the South African Football Association (SAFA). The skillful Ramalepe, who plays as a defender, was part of the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations Banyana Banyana winning squad, as well as the side that finished in the Round of 16 at the FIFA Women’s World Cup co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand in 2023.

In achieving her 100th cap on the day, Ramalepe became the 11th Banyana Banyana player to reach this milestone. She joins a prestigious group that includes Refiloe Jane, Noko Matlou, Nompumelelo Nyandeni, Nothando Vilakazi, Janine van Wyk, Portia Modise, Amanda Dlamini, Mamello Makhabane, and Leandro Smeda.

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