25 November 2016 06:50
A superb second half performance from South Africa was enough to beat Egypt 5-0 in the ultimate Group A fixture on Friday in Limbe, joining host Cameroon at the last four.
The South Africans led 1-0 at half time thanks to a Andiswe Mgcoyi opener midway through the first half before Nothando Vilakazi, Refiloe Jane, Jermaine Seoposenwe and Linda Mootlhalo scored one each to seal a deserving victory and ensure a triumphant entry into the semis.
The Southern Africans will face the winner of Group B after finishing second in Group A on four points, five behind leaders Cameroon who beat Zimbabwe 2-0 in Yaounde to maintain their 100 per cent record. Egypt finished with three points and Zimbabwe in that order with a point.
The feat was a replica of the South Africans performance two years ago in Namibia where they had to beat Algeria 5-1 in the final group match to advance to the medal stage of the eight-team tournament.
However, this time they had to fight hard against an Egyptian side that deployed a defensive strategy from the onset with striker Salma Ahmed the lone player upfront.
After pinning the North Africans into their half, Banyana Banyana finally found the breakthrough courtesy Mgcoyi from a goalmouth action on 27 minutes.
Seoposenwe almost doubled the lead on the half-hour mark but shot poorly after Mgcoyi had put her through.
The South Africans resumed with the same momentum and it did not take long for them to open spaces in the Egyptian backline which appeared impregnable during the first half.
On 59 minutes, Vilakazi doubled the lead capitalising on a misunderstanding between Egyptian goalie Maha Shehata and Fayza Rahim which gifted her the ball, and she shot coolly into the yawning net.
Two minutes later, Jane increased the tally with virtually her first touch of the ball after coming on with a simple tap in after Shehata spilled Mgcoyi’s goalbound effort.
It was South Africa all the way and Seoposenwe added her name on the scoring sheet with the fourth goal on 67 minutes before Motlhalo put the icing on the cake with the fifth goal seven minutes from time.