In some sense, it is already mission accomplished for Banyana Banyana as they head into today’s 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations final against Nigeria in Accra.
Desiree Ellis’ side are the pride of the nation after qualifying for a Fifa Women’s World Cup for the first time, banishing all those near misses with a 2-0 win in the semifinal against Mali on Tuesday to seal a place next year in the draw for France.
It would certainly add to the sense of achievement and the feel-good factor if Banyana can beat the Super Falcons today and lift the African title for the first time.
Nigeria have dominated the continental game, winning 10 of 12 titles since the Africa Women Cup of Nations started in 1991, with the other two going to Equatorial Guinea.
Banyana laid down a marker in their very first game of this year’s competition when they stunned Nigeria 1-0, with Thembi Kgatlana’s wonderful strike the first of five the brilliant young striker has managed en route to the final.
Nigeria will want revenge today, when Banyana are also at a disadvantage in that one of their key players, Refiloe Jane, has had to go back to her Australian club, Canberra United.
Nonetheless, Banyana, the only unbeaten side left in the competition, will believe they can finish the job.