DURBAN – After an impressive 2018 where they successfully defended the Cosafa Cup, which was succeeded by a maiden qualification for the World Cup through Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (Awcon), Banyana Banyana were rewarded for their achievements at the Caf Annual Award Ceremony in Senegal on Tuesday night.
Desiree Ellis and Thembi Kgatlana walked away with the Women’s Coach of the Year and Women’s Player of the Year awards respectively. Furthermore, Kgatlana’s strike against Nigeria in their Awcon opener was publicly voted as the Goal of the Year.
We take a look at what this recognition means for South African women’s football.
Strong message ahead of maiden World Cup
Banyana’s dominance in continental football was inevitable. Prior to last year’s historic Awcon tournament, they had already made 12 appearances, which included four finals. In Ghana, one of the two missing puzzles was completed as they secured their first World Cup spot after beating Mali 2-0 in the last four. On the other hand, their chase for their first piece of silverware at the Awcon continued as they succumbed to Nigeria in the lottery of penalties in the final.