Ghana finished third in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations after beating South Africa in the third-place match on Friday at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde.
Defender Linda Eshun put the Ghanaians ahead with the only goal just after the break to ensure the Black Queens went home with some pride, after yet again failing to break the jinx as far as the ultimate at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations is concerned.
It was the third time that the West Africans had finished third after 2000 and 2004, whilst the Banyana Banyana replicated their performance two years ago in Namibia.
South Africa will yet again live to regret the countless goal scoring chances that came their way in an encounter that they were by far the better side in the opening half. They could have at least ended the first half with a lead but failed to make their dominance and control of the game count on the scoring cards.
Midfielder Refiloe Jane headed wide on 22 minutes from close range before Ghana goalie Patricia Mantey denied the former again on the half-hour mark after Andisiwe Mgcoyi had put her through.
Midway, the South Africans were dealt a huge blow when central defender Bambanani Mbane was stretched off and her place taken by Noko Matlou.
With the Ghanaians struggling in search of their feet, goalie Mantey was at her best yet again parrying a Janine Van Wyk free-kick just before the break.
Three minutes into the second half, Eshun scrambled home from a corner to give the Ghanaians a lead that they will hold on for the remainder of the game.
The South Africans had some good moments to draw level with Leandra Smeda, Mgcoyi and Mamello Makhabane all fluffing golden opportunities to equalise.
The introduction of skilful forward Thembi Kgatlana in the dying moments almost salvaged a point for the South Africans but it was little too late as Ghana held on to victory.
Meanwhile, Nigeria will lock horn on Saturday with host nation Cameroon in the grand finale. Hosts Cameroon are confident ahead of their grand finale in the women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Yaounde.
The Cameroonian’s are aiming to win their first title and also avenge their 2014 defeat by Nigeria. The Indomitable Lionesses lost 2-0 two years ago and were also beaten by Nigeria in their other appearances in the final in 2004.