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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 October 2006, 15:40 GMT
Nigeria and SA into AWC semis
By Oluwashina Okeleji
BBC Sport, Delta State

Nigeria's Perpetua Nkwocha
Former African Player of the Year Perpetua Nkowcha grabbed two

South Africa and hosts Nigeria both eased into the semi-finals of the African Women's Championship after registering Group A wins on Tuesday.

Banyana Banyana were the first team through to the last four after beating Equatorial Guinea 2-0, their second win in as many games.

Nigeria, the four-time champions, then thumped Algeria 6-0 to assume pole position in the group and book their semi-final berth.

We are very happy. The South Africa match promises to be very exciting and we will be extremely focussed

Nigeria coach Effiom Ntiero

The two teams meet in Oleh on Friday, the same day that both Algeria and Equatorial Guinea go in search of their first points of the championship.

Nigeria, the only team to ever win the championship, put a lacklustre opening performance behind them as they thrashed Algeria.

The Super Falcons got off to a brilliant start after eight minutes as captain Kikelomo Ajayi opened the scoring to delight the fans.

Perpetual Nkwocha soon added a second while Algeria goalkeeper Fedoul Nadjet was picking the ball out of her net once more in the 35th minute after Maureen Madu made it three.

We are not totally disappointed as we are still learning. My team will take with them a great lesson having come up against the world's sixth best team

Algeria coach Chim Azzedine

Despite torrential rainfall, Effiomwan Ekpo's long-range effort made it 4-0 early in the second half before Cynthia Uwuak headed home an 89th-minute corner and Nkwocha got her second right at the death.

Earlier, Banyana Banyana of South Africa beat Equatorial Guinea 2-0 in the south-western town of Oleh.

Belinda Nkosi gave the 2004 hosts the lead shortly after the hourmark before Jo-Ann Solomon wrapped up the victory in the 73rd minute.

The Guineans set out to frustrate the 2004 hosts and a resolute defensive display meant the first half ended goalless.

But the South Africans moved up a gear in the second half, and Nkosi shot her team ahead with a powerful drive after 62 minutes.

Equatorial Guinea is a side on the rise and I must commend them for putting up a brave fight

South Africa coach Augustine Makalakalane

Nkosi had Equatorial Guinea goalkeeper Martina Ntepe scrambling in vain as she converted Portia Modisa's fine pass.

Three minutes later, the goalscorer was replaced by the veteran Solomon, who has contested every edition of the championship since its inception in 1998.

Solomon soon doubled South Africa's lead as she strolled through a cluster of bewildered Guineans and rifled her close-range shot into the roof of the net.



SEE ALSO
2006 AWC
29 Oct 06 |  African


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