Awcon 2018: South Africa’s Van Wyk ‘surprised’ by Ghana’s poor showing

Exclusive: The Banyana Banyana captain shared her thoughts on the hosts’ underwhelming performance at the continental showpiece

South Africa skipper Janine Van Wyk is backing Ghana to recover from their disastrous Africa Women Cup of Nations campaign on home soil.

The Black Queens were undoubtedly the biggest disappointment of the just-ended tournament as they failed to get pass the group stage.

They had hoped to go one step further, having finished as runners-up on three previous occasions.

“I’m very surprised by Ghana’s performance,” Van Wyk, whose team played in Saturday’s final, told Goal.

“Ghana, for me, have always been one of the top dogs in Africa football – men and women.

“I was very surprised when they didn’t make it through to the semi-final because I honestly thought it'd be always the top four teams participating in the semi-finals and it’s always a fight to see who’s in the final.”

After a hard-fought opening day 1-0 victory over Algeria, Ghana suffered a huge setback by a 2-1 loss to Mali on matchday two, before being held to a 1-1 draw by Cameroon in their final game.

The result left the Queens third in Group A, a spot below the top two qualifying positions.

“It’s very surprising but again it’s football and it’s unpredictable. That is the beauty of this game. You win some, you lose some, you make mistakes and it costs you at the end of the day,” Wyk added.

“You just have to learn from it because if you don’t, you never grow. It’s something that they really need to look back on. It’s obviously a huge disappointment for the country because they’re more than that.

“They are fantastic footballers, fantastic talent and it is unfortunate. But it’s part of the game and they can only learn from it.”

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Ghana’s failure to make the semi-finals also saw them miss out on qualification for the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup.

The next Awcon is set for the Republic of Congo in 2020.