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South Africa claims first WAFCON title with win against Morocco

Players of South Africa celebrate with the trophy after the 2022 Women's Africa Cup of Nations final match between Morocco and South Africa at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, Morocco on July 23, 2022. (Photo by Jalal Morchidi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

After years of disappointment, South Africa captured its first-ever Women’s Africa Cup of Nations title, downing Morocco 2-1 in Saturday’s final.

Hildah Magaia notched a second-half brace to put South Africa ahead before the team weathered a late push from Morocco to secure the victory. A lively crowd filled the 53,000-seat Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat, Morocco, with South Africa keeping their poise despite the raucous fans.

Saturday marked redemption for South Africa after losing in its four previous Africa Cup of Nations finals dating back to 2000.

“To finally get to this point meant a lot for everyone. When the final whistle went out, I was crying. It was the most humbling and emotional experience,” captain Refiloe Jane told BBC Sport Africa after the match. “I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much after a football match – that goes to show our journey, everything that we had to go through and things have finally come together.”

South Africa’s title secures the team a spot in the 2023 World Cup, with Morocco and Zambia joining the winners in Australia and New Zealand as the representatives from the Africa Cup of Nations.