South Africa No Menace To Nigeria, Affirms Balogun
South Africa has been the standout team at the on-going Aisha Buhari Invitational Women Football Tournament, but Super Falcons’ goalkeeper, Yewande Balogun, believes the Banyana Banyana will meet a superior match when they face Nigeria.
South Africa defeated Ghana 3-0 on match-day three of the competition to announce their intentions at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Lagos.
The Banyana Banyana have always been hard a nut for the Super Falcons, who most times rely on experience to overcome the South Africans. Currently, the South Africans have shown qualities that have forced experts to categorise them as the team to beat. They play against Nigeria tomorrow.
Balogun, who is also UC Davis women’s soccer assistant coach, expressed optimism that Nigeria would beat South Africa, noting that Super Falcons have experienced and committed players that would give Banyana Banyana a good fight.
In Nigeria’s opening game against Mali, substitute Gift Monday’s brace gave the Falcons victory, while Banyana Banyana thrashed Ghana 3-0 in their game.
Balogun, one of the most decorated goalkeepers in Maryland, U.S., women’s soccer history, helped the Terrapins reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2009 and 2011, in addition to an appearance in the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship. South Africa relies on 2018 African Woman Player of the Year, Thembi Kgatlana, as their main weapon.
The forward, who plays her club football for Atletico Madrid of Spain, has been one of the most feared African women football attackers in recent times.
With Skipper Janine Van Wyk, goalkeeper Kaylin Swart, Sibulele Holweni and Robyn Moodaly, the South Africans have some quality players the Falcons should watch out for.
Meanwhile, Morocco’s Atlas Lionesses and the Female Eagles of Mali fought out the first stalemate of the maiden edition of Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Tournament at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena yesterday both sides missing a hatful of chances to put the ball in the net.
The Lionesses, 1-0 winners over the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon on Day 2, were impressive with their ball-management on the park, vision, anticipation and firm control. Mali lost by two late goals to Nigeria on the opening day on Wednesday but were more dogged and pushful against the North Africans yesterday.
Chidi Nwoke/The Guardian