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Dlamini reminisces on 2018 crucial moment

The CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) Goalkeeper of the Tournament winner, Andile Dlamini, has shared a story of how she watched the 2018 final of the same competition and told herself she wanted to be in between the sticks for the next edition.

Dlamini, nicknamed ‘Sticks’ has come through the ranks, eventually taking over the Banyana Banyana number one jersey.

After winning the CAF Women’s Champions League with her club Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, she has since added another continental accolade – the WAFCON – to her long list of titles.

This is after South Africa got the better of the hosts Morocco 2-1 in the WAFCON final clash on Saturday in Rabat.

At the heart of this success was ‘Sticks’, who kept three clean sheets in the six games that Desiree Ellis’ charges played at this prestigious tournament.

The 29-year-old goal-minder’s stellar performances were rewarded when she picked up the Goalkeeper of the Year Award and dedicated the accolade to her family for their enormous support.

“In 2018, I was watching from the bench and I told myself that I want to play next time,” Dlamini told CAF media after receiving her award.

The 2018 final South Africa lost to Nigeria on penalties following a goalless draw after extra time.  

“As a team, we have worked hard to achieve this and this means so much,” she added.

The highly-rated goalie recently missed out on the CAF Interclub Player of the Year and Player of the Year awards which took place on the 21st of July in Morocco ahead of the final of Africa’s flagship women’s completion. But her side Banyana Ba Style walked away the CAF Women’s Club of the Year.

Meanwhile, her teammate Hildah Magaia who scored a brace that earned Banyana the WAFCON title finished as the joint top goalscorer at this year’s WAFCON edition with three goals alongside Moroccan captain Ghizlane Chebbak and Nigeria’s Rasheedat Ajibade.

In addition, South Africa’s co-captain Refiloe Jane could not hold back her joy and she said: “Honestly, it has not yet dawned on us that we are African champions. This feels like a dream to us. I know eventually when we sit down, we shall realize that it is actually true. When we look back at the journey, it is going to be a tough one.

“When I lifted the trophy, there was so much going through my mind. This is big for South Africa, for Women’s Football. I cannot wait to get back home. They have been supporting us since day one. Today, we saw a united South Africa. It is something that we had hoped for. We wanted to bring hope and bring back smiles to South Africans. We are grateful for the support that they have shown to us.”

RELATED STORY: Andile Dlamini: Jill of many trades… mastering them one at a time

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