Banyana Banyana were crowned Africa’s National Team of The Year in the women’s category at Caf’s awards ceremony in Ghana’s capital Accra on Thursday night, while Liverpool star Mohamed Salah was chosen as the best player in the male category.
The senior women’s national team ended 2017 on a high note by winning the Cosafa Cup in Zimbabwe, led by interim coach Desiree Ellis, who became the first person to win the trophy as a player and a coach.
Banyana did it the hard way by beating the hosts in the final in front of a packed and intimidating crowd.
Reaching the final was even harder. Banyana came from 3-0 down to finish regulation time at 3-3 against Zambia, before beating them in the penalty shootout.
Their exploits were awarded with the Team of the Year gong. They beat competition from Ghana and Nigeria’s National Under-20 sides.
The 2008 recipient of Caf’s Footballer of the Year award, Noko Matlou, and Thembi Kgatlana – who was nominated for this year’s edition – collected the award on the country’s behalf.
Matlou remained the only South African with that award as Kgatlana missed out on the prize. Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala took home the Footballer of the Year gong.
Salah beat off the challenge of Liverpool teammate Sadio Mané of Senegal and Borussia Dortmund star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon for the big award of the night, the men’s player of the year.
Caf Award Winners
Women’s Player of the Year: Asisat Oshoala (Nigeria)
Men’s Player of the Year: Mohamed Salah (Egypt)
Men’s National Team of the Year: Egypt
Women’s National Team of the Year: South Africa
Club of the Year: Wydad Casablanca
Coach of the Year: Hector Cuper (Egypt)
Youth Player of the Year: Patson Daka (Zambia)
Platinum Awards: Nana Akufo-Addo, George Weah
Leader of the Year: Ahmed Yahya (Mauritania)
Legend Award: Ibrahim Sunday