Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa during Cosafa Womens Championship Final match between Cameroon and South Africa Training on the 22 September 2018 at Wolfson Stadium , Port Elizabeth / Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Thembi Kgatlana chosen as the best female player in Africa

Banyana Banyana forward Thembi Kgatlana took home two trophies – the Caf Goal of the Year and Caf Woman Player of the Year awards.
Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis was named the Caf Women’s National Team Coach of the Year 2018
This is an historic win for Ellis, a former Banyana Banyana captain. Ellis capped off a fine year after she made history in 2018 – she was the first person to win the Cosafa Women’s Championship as both player and coach, and she is also the first individual to qualify the South African Women’s National Team to the World Cup.
The awards took place in Dakar, the capital of Senegal on Tuesday night (8 January 2019).
Ellis beat off a strong challenge from Joseph Brian Ndoko (Cameroon) and Thomas Dennerby (Nigeria) – the trio will be leading their teams at the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup in France in June. Also flying the South African flag high was Kgatlana, who won the Caf Goal of the Year award – this was for the strike she took when Banyana Banyana defeated Nigeria 1-0 in their opening match of the 2018 Women’s Afcon held in Ghana in November.
The goal also earned her the Player of the Match of Award – she went on to score four more goals to be crowned Player of the Tournament.
The Goal of the Year winner was decided via online public voting.
Kgatlana finished as the top goalscorer in the 2018 Women’s Afcon with five goals, where she also walked away with the Player of the Tournament accolade.
The pint-sized player took home the coveted 2018 Women’s Player of the Year award – pipping the Nigerian duo of Asisat Oshoala and Fransisca Ordega. She was also a nominee for the African Player of the Year award in 2017.
The Houston Dash forward becomes the second South African to lift this trophy, following in the footsteps of fellow Banyana Banyana striker Noko Matlou in 2008.
The nominees were selected based on their performance from February 2018 to November 2018 – a period in which Kgatlana shone.
Kgatlana led her country to the final of the 2018 Women’s Afcon in Ghana, and this was enough to ensure qualification to the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup to be held in France in June.
She scored five goals, which saw her win three Woman of the Match accolades in a row – a feat which led her to being crowned the Player of the Tournament.
Banyana Banyana were, however, unlucky not to win the 2018 Caf Women’s National Team of the Year award – an accolade they won in 2017.
South Africa lost to African Champions Nigeria, who defeated them in the final of the 2018 Women’s Afcon.

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