South Africa left it late to pick all three maximum points against tournament favourites and defending champions Nigeria in the Group B opener at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium.
It was the substitute, Chrestinah Kgatlana who did the magic for the Bayana Bayana ladies with her sweet 83rd-minute volley to win the game 1-0 for her side. Prior to her arrival and goal Nigeria had the most possession but credit to the defence of the South Africans for their resolute defending.
Nigeria started the game with much pace and potency but were unable to create any decent chance to break the defence of the South Africans. Their best and only opportunity came in the 33rd minute after Desire Ugochi had just the net at her mercy but picked the hard option by ballooning the ball over the bar from six yards out.
After the resumption of the second half, South Africa grew in confidence and started threatening their Nigerian counterparts as the frequently created lots of openings but were unable to find the back of the net just like their opponents.
Coach Ellis made a bold move by taking off Basisiwe Ndimeni and bringing on Chrestinah Kgatlana. A decision the paid off greatly, with a moment of brilliance as the substitute broke the deadlock with some magical strike.
A victory that would be highly celebrated in South Africa as they have been constantly beaten by their Nigerian counterparts.