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South Africa beat Nigeria in Africa Women Cup of Nations group stage match

South Africa beat Nigeria 2-1 in their group C clash at the Women's Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco. Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

South Africa downed Nigeria 2-1 at Rabat's Stade Moulay Hassan on Monday in order to stake an early claim as favourites for Group C and the Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) title.

Banyana Banyana dominated possession from the first whistle against the Super Eagles, but the first half was a cagey affair without many clear chances. Respective star forwards Asisat Oshoala and Thembi Kgatlana were heavily marked.

- ESPN's AWCON team-by-team guide

Nigeria came out of the blocks quickly in the second half. Oshoala's shot on the turn was saved and held by goalkeeper Andile Dlamini in the 49th minute after a long ball was allowed to bounce.

In the 61st minute, the breakthrough finally arrived at the other end. Noxolo Cesane took down a long ball and slipped in Jermaine Seoposenwe to put Banyana Banyana ahead.

Within two minutes, Seoposenwe flicked the ball on to midfielder Refiloe Jane, who threaded a through ball for Hildah Magaia to double the lead.

Goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi was lucky to escape without a red card in the 82nd minute after she fouled Atlético Madrid's Kgatlana with the 26-year-old bearing down on goal.

In stoppage time, Michelle Alozie's corner found Onome Ebi, who picked out Rasheedat Ajibade for the finish -- nothing more than a consolation goal.

Linda Motlhalo claimed the Woman of the Match honours -- a sign of how Banyana dominated the midfield battle.

Botswana beat Burundi in thriller

The later game in Rabat saw Botswana beat Burundi 4-2 in a high-scoring thriller.

In the 43rd minute, Keitumetse Dithebe played a one-two off Nondi Mahlasela before letting fly with a left-footed piledriver from around 20 yards out to score the opening goal.

Early in the second half, Lesego Radiakanyo doubled the lead only to see it pegged back in the 52nd minute by Sandrine Niyonkuru, who capitalised after Sedilame Boseja spilled the ball.

In the 55th minute, Refilwe Tholakele restored the two-goal cushion as she cut inside from Botswana's left and drove home from long range in an early contender for Goal of the Tournament.

Before the hour-mark, Burundi's failure to clear came back to bite them as Mahlasela worked the ball to Tholakele, who stroked home again.

In the 81st minute, Burundi pulled a goal back as Asha Djafari's corner was not properly cleared and Niyonkuru was able to control the ball and smash it home. However, Botswana ultimately claimed a fairly comfortable win.