A Rosella Ayane penalty kick will live long in the history of Morocco women’s soccer as it was the shot that sent the team to its first ever major tournament final. On Monday Morocco defeated 11-time Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (WAFCON) champs Nigeria on penalties in the semifinal.
Morocco is hosting the tournament for the first time in its history and is going on a historic run. The underdogs already secured 2023 World Cup qualification, which will be the team's first ever World Cup, by making it to the semifinals. Now Morocco has its eyes on winning the whole thing.
Morocco hadn’t even qualified for a WAFCON tournament since 2000. On Monday Tottenham and Morocco forward Ayane tucked home the decisive kick in the penalty shootout in front of a record crowd of over 45,500 to send her side to the final.
There was one funny thing though… Ayane didn’t even realize her team had won.
Rosella Ayane Penalty Kick vs. Nigeria
Rosella Ayane scored the winning penalty that sent Morocco to the #WAFCON finalIt took her a moment to realize it
— B/R Football (@brfootball) July 19, 2022
Ayane was the fifth penalty taker for Morocco as her side went perfect in the shootout scoring all five. Nigeria failed to score its second penalty, but Ayane must have been too focused on converting her own penalty that she forgot what the score was.
Taking down the defending champions Nigeria was a colossal upset for Morocco who will now play South Africa in the final. This marks the first time in the tournament’s history that neither Nigeria nor Equatorial Guinea features in the final.
Instead, Morocco will play South Africa, a team that has made it to the WAFCON final six times now but has yet to win the whole thing.
The final is on Saturday, July 23, at 4 p.m. ET and can be watched on beIN SPORTS. If this one goes to penalties hopefully Ayane keeps count.