HOSTS South Africa kicked off the 2010 Africa Women Championship in perfect style when beating Tanzania 2-1 in Daveyton on Sunday.
But the hosts’ lead atop Group A was short-lived as Nigeria thumped Mali 5-0 on Monday to top the table on goal difference.
A first half hat-trick from striker Perpertua Nkwocha and second half efforts from Stella Mbachu and Francisca Ordega gave the Super Falcons victory at the Sinaba Stadium.
“It wasn’t a flying start but it’s a good start, a positive start,” said South Africa coach Augustine Makalakalane. “Opening games are forever difficult. I’m happy we came away with three points.”
Tanzania were aggrieved when denied a penalty moments after South Africa’s second as Mwanahamis Shurua went down under a tackle from Janine van Wyk but was booked for simulation.
Having already seen a yellow card earlier in the game, Shurua left the field in tears after her dismissal.
On Thursday, South Africa takes on Nigeria while Tanzania faces Mali.