Desiree Ellis struck gold on her third attempt as Banyana Banyana Coach, leading South Africa to their first ever Women’s Africa Cup of Nations title on Saturday.
South Africa started their campaign with a signature win, defeating defending champions Nigeria 2-1, and capped the tournament with a 2-1 victory against host nation, Morocco.
Hildah Magaia proved to be a player for the big occasions at this tournament as she notched a brace, her first goal coming in the 63rd minute – same minute she scored against Nigeria.
She then added a second in the 71st minute to give Banyana a comfortable lead, edging South Africa closer to only their second senior NT title since 1996 when Bafana Bafana won the Africa Cup of Nations.
However, Morocco did get the chance to impress the mammoth crowd of home supporters who witnessed the game.
A consolation goal did eventually come with 10 minutes left on the clock and Rosella Ayane was at the end of the action.
With the final whistle, South Africa became the third different winner of the WAFCON in 12 editions.
Tonight we celebrate 😭🇿🇦💚💛
CHAMPIONS !!!#TotalEnergiesWAFCON2022 pic.twitter.com/7WV0i9p6gF
— Banyana_Banyana (@Banyana_Banyana) July 23, 2022
It was a relief and particularly for Banyana Coach, Desiree Ellis, whose amazing journey since 2016 – her first attempt to win the title – led to this accomplishment.
Ellis lost in the semi-final back in 2016 and in the final two years later. Last night in Rabat was her second final appearance.
The 59 year-old was also, recently, voted CAF Women’s Coach of the Year – for a second consecutive year.