South Africa reached the final of the 2022 Total Energies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations after overcoming Zambia 1-0 in Casablanca on Monday.
A stoppage-time penalty converted by Linda Motlhalo helped Banyana Banyana to reach the final of Africa’s flagship women’s football tournament.
The Banyana Banyana fought hard to beat the Copper Queens to secure a second consecutive final and a fifth overall in the history of the competition.
The Sweden-based midfielder hit a right-footed shot into the bottom left corner in the fourth minute of injury-time to secure her country’s place in the final.
It was a game of two halves with Zambia taking control of the first half and South Africa also taking charge after the break in the COSAFA derby.
The Copper Queens got the first chance of the game in the 13th minute after Grace Chanda’s shot from the edge of the box could not beat goalkeeper Amanda Dlamini.
Margaret Belemu tried another effort to put Zambia ahead moments later but that was easily dealt by the composed Dlamini.
Evarine Susan Katongo’s beautiful pass found Chanda whose shot drifted just wide off Dlamini’s goal in the 27th minute.
Banyana Banyana came close to breaking the deadlock of the encounter when Hilda Magaia had her shot brilliantly blocked by goalkeeper Catherine Musonda who was in post for the first time this tournament.
The moment that changed the game was in the additional minutes after a foul on Jermaine Seoposenwe was reviewed by the VAR.
South Africa were awarded a penalty after the VAR check and midfielder Linda Motlhalo stepped up to get the ball behind the back of the net to send the Banyana Banyana through.
Desiree Ellis and her charges will wait for the winner between host country Morocco and title holders Nigeria who square off in the second semi-final match later on.
Zambia will discover their third-place playoff opponents also on Monday night as they will face the loser of the game in Rabat.