Banyana qualify for Africa Women Cup of Nations after aggregate win over Algeria

Linda Mothlalo of South Africa challenges Lydia Belkacemi of Algeria during their Africa Women Cup of Nations qualifier at Omar Hamadi Stadium in Algeria on Wednesday

Linda Mothlalo of South Africa challenges Lydia Belkacemi of Algeria during their Africa Women Cup of Nations qualifier at Omar Hamadi Stadium in Algeria on Wednesday. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Published Feb 23, 2022

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Durban — Banyana Banyana Qualified for the African Women Cup of Nations (Awcon) in Morocco after they drew 1-1 on the day, but won 3-1 on aggregate against Algeria on Wednesday night.

Koui Sylia found the breakthrough for the Tennecs in the last minute of first half additional time with a well placed header.

Algeria Captain, Naima Bouheni did extremely well to hold off the challenge of two Banyana defenders in the penalty area before lobbing a ball onto the head her teammate, Sylia managed to dodge the efforts of Janine Van Wyk and nodded the ball over goalkeeper Andile Dlamini to give her side a 1-0 lead going into the break.

ALSO READ: Banyana a step away from closing out a glorious AWCON qualifying campaign

Linda Motlalo pulled the visitors level in the 62nd minute with a well taken penalty.

Motlalo stepped up after a handball in the Algeria penalty area, Banyana’s number 10 dispatched the resulting spot kick and put her side level and 3-1 up on aggregate.

Coach Desiree Ellis rewarded Gabriela Salgado with a start after she came off the bench and impressed in the first leg victory at the Orlando Stadium.

ALSO READ: ’The players executed our plan to perfection,’ says Banyana coach Ellis

Team captain Van Wyk also made her way back into the starting eleven, replacing veteran counterpart Noko Matlou in the heart of the defence as Banyana looked to seal their place at Awcon 2022.

While the home side, with a 2-0 deficit to make up, made 2 changes themselves, roping in Braham Amira and Bouzid Wissem in place of Roselene Khezami and young Adjabi Ikram.

The Algerians thought they found the opening goal through a goalkeeping error in the 26th minute.

ALSO READ: Banyana brush Algeria aside and grab advantage in Awcon qualifier

Banyana goal minder, Dlamini seemed to fumble the ball after a scramble in the penalty area and Bouheni poked home from close range, however the referee deemed it to be a foul as Dlamini had the ball under her control.

The second half of this encounter was very erratic as Algeria pushed on from their first half goal and Banyana seemingly feeling the pressure of a typical North African away game.

Banyana seemed to gain a lot of confidence after their equaliser and dictated play for the rest of the half, winning all of their 50/50 battle and dealt with all their aerial duels.

ALSO READ: 'It is up to the players to execute the plan well against Algeria', says Banyana coach Desiree Ellis

The Algerians finished the game with 10 players as midfielder Belkaceme Lyndia got her second yellow card of the game and received her marching orders.

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