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Football | Nigeria

Falcons at the end of the road



South Africa's Banyana Banyana on Wednesday punctured Cup holders, Super Falcons' title race with a superb 1-0 win at the ongoing 8th AWC in Equatorial Guinea.

Centre-back, Janine van Wyk's beauty of a goal in the 27th minute beat Nigeria's goalkeeper, Precious Dede hands down and gave the South Africans a chance at the final of the biennial football showpiece.

South Africa will now square up against hosts and 2008 champions, Equatorial Guinea in the final on Sunday in Malabo. The Equatorial Guineans defeated the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon 2-0 in the first semifinals.

The defeat showed decline in the Nigerian side who were largely lethargic, uncoordinated and clay-footed throughout the uninspiring match that clearly threw up the Banyana as the best side.

The Banyana Banyana had earlier served the notice of their intention to stop Falcons' dominance in the round leather game on the continent during the two-legged international friendlies in Nelspruit, South Africa and Lagos, Nigeria. The encounters ended in draws but bookmakers scored the South Africans higher.

Equatorial Guinea have turned out to be Nigeria's Achilles' Heel in the African Women's Championship. In 2008, Nigerian side under coach Joseph Ladipo (Jossy Lad) lost at the same stage of the competition to Equatorial Guinea who went ahead to clinch their maiden title at the expense of South Africa.

Coach Kadiri Ikhana has upped the number of coaches who have failed to win the AWC title with the Super Falcons, they will now fight for the losers' match against the Cameroonian side on Sunday in Malabo.

Already Falcons' top striker and reigning player of the year, Perpetua Nkwocha has served notice to end her international career with the 2012 AWC the same is expected of the likes of goalkeeper, Precious Dede, Stella Mbachu, Rita Chikwelu, Onome Ebi, among others.

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