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Page last updated at 13:46 GMT, Monday, 1 November 2010

Nigeria and SA lead way in AWC

Kehinde Adeogun
BBC Sport, Johannesburg

The logo for the 2010 African Womens' Championship
Hosts South Africa opened the 2010 AWC on Sunday

Hosts South Africa kicked off the 2010 African Womens Championship in perfect style when beating Tanzania 2-1 in Daveyton on Sunday.

But the hosts' lead atop Group A was short-lived as Nigeria thumped Mali 5-0 on Monday to top the table on goal difference.

A first half hat-trick from striker Perpertua Nkwocha and second half efforts from Stella Mbachu and Francisca Ordega gave the Super Falcons victory at the Sinaba Stadium.

On Sunday, the Simba Stadium in Daveyton was packed with fans who turned up early to savour the colourful opening ceremony before the first match of the 2010 finals.

When the action started, Banyana Banyana's Mamphasa Popela opened the scoring after 35 minutes but slack defending allowed Esther Chabruma to equalise just before half-time.

Four minutes from time, Mamello Makhabane converted a spot-kick after substitute Kylie Ann Lou's shot was handled.

"It wasn't a flying start but it's a good start, a positive start," said South Africa coach Augustine Makalakalane.

"Opening games are forever difficult. I'm happy we came away with three points."

I am very disappointed with how the officials officiated

Tanzania coach Charles Boniface

Tanzania were aggrieved when denied a penalty moments after South Africa's second as Mwanahamis Shurua went down under a tackle from Janine van Wyk but was booked for simulation.

Having already seen a yellow card earlier in the game, Shurua left the field in tears after her dismissal.

Banyana Banyana dominated much of the game but were unable to get past a resolute Tanzania defence in the early stages.

But Makhabane then set up Popela's opener while Tanzania's equaliser - their first ever goals in the finals - sparked jubilant scenes.

But Cameroonian referee Therese Neguel was less than impressed and booked Shurua for over-celebrating - one of several decisions which dismayed Tanzania coach Charles Boniface.

"I accept defeat because it is part and parcel of the game (but) I am very disappointed with how the officials officiated," he said.

"I am very satisfied with the performance my players showed regardless of what the referee did."

The Tanzanian delegation intends to make a formal protest against the red card.

Banyana Banyana play their next group match against Nigeria on 4 November, which is when Tanzania face Mali.

Group B opens on Tuesday as Equatorial Guinea play Cameroon and Algeria take on Ghana.

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see also
African Women's Championship
30 Sep 10 |  African
AWC: Host S. Africa draw Nigeria
21 Sep 10 |  African
Equatorial Guinea lift AWC trophy
30 Nov 08 |  African

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