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FAZ lodge appeal over officiating after AWCON semis loss

South Africa players celebrate their qualification into the final
  • FAZ said there was unfair officiating in the semi
  • Zambia lost via a last minute penalty
  • CAF is expected to dismiss their appeal

The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has lodged an appeal with CAF after their slim 1-0 loss to South Africa in the semis of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.

The Zambians lost via a contested late penalty and the Association has accused centre referee Lydia Tafese of unfair officiating.

“We therefore wish to contest against the decision of the referee to award such a penalty resulting in a goal which decided against our team progressing to the finals as we call for a serious review of the game,” read part of the FAZ appeal.

“We call for the penalty to be cancelled, that a replay be ordered and that the referee be barred from handling any games,” it added.

The statement further added; “We have further noted with great concern the poor officiating that characterised the tournament specifically our games. We recorded similar incidents of poor match officiating by referees who have gone scot-free among them referee Bouchra Karboubi who has continued to handle games at the tournament as if nothing happened.”

However, CAF is expected to throw out the appeal from the Zambians.

Linda late penalty downs Zambians

Linda celebrates her late penalty

Linda Motlhalo scored a penalty in the third minute of added time to hand the Banyana Banyana a slim 1-0 advantage and a place in their second consecutive final.

Jermaine Seoposenwe had been fouled at the edge of the box and after reference to the VAR, the referee gave a spotkick which was expertly tucked away.

Zambia had done well in the match and were heartbroken not to have gone through for their first ever final. They had the chances. Danger girl Grace Chanda had an opportunity in the 13th minute with a shot from the edge of the box but it was saved.

Amanda Dlamini, the South African shot stopper was playing a crucial role for the side and she made another important save to deny Margaret Belemu before blocking Chanda again.

Hilda Magaia had South Africa’s best chance, but her effort couldn’t beat the Zambian keeper.

“It is true that we have gone beyond our expectations. I’m proud of my team, the way they played, but above all even more proud of their behaviour,” said Zambia coach Bruce Mwape after the match.

Meanwhile, defending champions Nigeria’s hopes of a record extending 10th African crown were thwarted after losing on post-match penalties to a determined Morocco, pushed on by the passionate home crowd.

Penalty perfect Morocco march on

Morocco celebrate their win over Nigeria

Morocco scored all five of their shootouts with Yasmin Katie Mrabet, Ghizlain Chebbak, Zineb Redouani, Nesryne El Chad and Rosella Annie Ayane getting on the scoresheet.

Ifeoma Onumonu was the villain for the Super Falcons as she saw her penalty saved by the keeper while Rita Chikwelu, Otu Obianang, Ashleigh Plumptre and Gift Monday converted their kicks.

The Super Falcons had to play most of the match with umerical handicap. They were reduced to 10 three minutes after the restart when Halimatu Ayinde was sent off following a VAR intervention.

The Moroccans almost opened the scoring when some jittery defending almost led to an own goal as the backline struggled to clear a cross from the left.

But the Nigerians broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute when Uchenna Kanu bumbled the ball home from close range after Rasheedat Ajibade’s brilliant bouncing header from a cross on the right came off the upright.

Morocco drew level eight minutes later when Sanaa Mssoudy took advantage of a defensive lapse after goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie failed to deal with a cross from Fatima Tagnaout.

Nigeria’s fight to get their lead back was dented when they were reduced to nine in the 70th minute after Ajibade was sent off for a cynical challenge.

The two sides dug in the effort in the rest of the game plus 30 additional minutes, but the score was tied at 1-1 to force the game to penalties.

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