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WAFCON Group C: South Africa confirm status as group winners; Nigeria thrash Burundi

The group stage finished up on Sunday at the 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations as Group C qualified three teams to the quarterfinal round. South Africa’s Banyana Banyana defeated Botswana 1-0 to confirm a perfect record through three games, setting up a matchup against Tunisia in the quarterfinals. In the other match going on simultaneously, Nigeria’s Super Falcons scored three goals in the first half on their way to an easy 4-0 win over Burundi and will advance as the group runners-up while Botswana advance as one of the two best third placed sides.

South Africa had a difficult time breaking down a tough Botswana defense and both teams had a difficult time carving out clear chances. Banyana Banyana star Thembi Kgatlana had a shot from the edge of the Motswana penalty area that went low and wide of goalkeeper Maitumelo Bosija’s near post. South Africa were generally limited to long range efforts by the time halftime arrived.

Bosija had more work to do in the second half and did excellently to deny Melinda Kgadiete following a giveaway by the Botswana defense. However, the goalkeeper could not keep out the only goal of the match when it arrived in the 80th minute after a well coordinated Banyana Banyana attack saw Kgadiete set up Nomvula Kgoale for a shot. Kgoale’s effort was saved by Bosija but Nthabiseng Majiya was on the doorstep to finish off the rebound.

There were no issues for Nigeria in their dominance of competition debutants Burundi. The Super Falcons opened the scoring in the 25th minute after Burundi goalkeeper Jeanine Irakoze took down Rasheedat Ajibade in the penalty area before Ajibade converted the subsequent penalty kick. After scoring the opener Ajibade went on to set the table for her teammates, providing a 28th minute cross that bounced around the six yard box where Peace Efih fired in.

Immediately after the second goal Nigeria made it 3-0 when Ajibade got free again on the right flank and crossed to find Uchenna Kanu, who finished into an empty net after substitute Burundi keeper Amissa Inarukundo failed to claim the cross. Only seconds after the referee whistled for the start of the second half Nigeria wrapped up the scoring and it was Ajibade again on the assist, intercepting a short pass from Inarukundo and then crossing for Kanu to put away her second goal.

Highlights from both games are below.

South Africa 1-0 Botswana

Nigeria 4-0 Burundi

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