South Africa reach African Women Cup of Nations quarterfinals as Nigeria claim first win

South Africa became the third team to qualify for the quarterfinals of the Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) in Rabat on Thursday with a 3-1 win over Burundi, while Nigeria beat Botswana 2-0 for their first victory.

South Africa consolidated their position at the top of Group C with a sloppy but comfortable win.

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They got off to a good start when, in the 20th minute,Thembi Kgatlana received the ball off Refiloe Jane, played a give-and-go off Noxolo Cesane and then stroked the ball into the net effortlessly to put Banyana in front.

However, South Africa were silenced half an hour into the game as Asha Djafari beat Noko Matlou down the outside and squared for Aniella Uwimana to stroke into the net.

Two minutes later, Robyn Moodaly had the ball taken off her in the box but it was not properly cleared and Amogelang Motau was able to snap up the loose ball and restore Banyana's lead.

South Africa wasted chances galore in the first half that should have seen them put the match to bed. Notably, Kgatlana missed a gaping net after rounding goalkeeper Janine Irakoze, while Jermaine Seoposenwe had a penalty saved.

In the 53rd minute, Irakoze spilled a cross and then fouled Kgatlana in the box. Linda Motlhalo stepped up and rolled the ball into the bottom corner to score what proved to be the final goal of the game.

In the other game on Thursday, Nigeria redeemed themselves after losing 2-1 to South Africa in their opening game despite news of the absence of Asisat Oshoala due to injury for the remainder of the tournament.

In the absence of their star forward, Ifeoma Onumonu of Gotham FC stepped up to the plate. She got in behind the defence, getting on the end of Halimatu Ayinde's through ball and stabbing home in the 22nd minute.

Christy Ucheibe headed home the Super Falcons' second goal in the 48th minute, capitalising on Toni Payne's assist. From there, it was a smooth cruise to victory.