The Banyana Banyana/Super Falcons encounter is the biggest match in Women's football on the African continent, and the outcome normally sets the tone for the rest of the tournament.
However, the game that has been a topic of discussion across different platforms is Monday’s encounter featuring old enemies Nigeria and South Africa.
Nigeria will be eyeing a 10th title in this competition, while Banyana Banyana will be hoping to finally bring the cup to South Africa after five failed attempts. They finished as runners-up in the last Edition in 2018.
The last time the two sides met was in September 2021 in the inaugural Aisha Buhari Cup where Desiree Ellis's charges were crowned champions following a convincing 4-2 victory.
"The first game of the tournament is always the biggest game, and this makes it even better because it’s against defending champions Nigeria and because it is Nigeria, the game is bigger than what it is supposed to be," said Ellis.
“We want to start well, and we know it is going to be a tough encounter. They are not Champions for nothing," she added.
"They have been consistent over the years, and that is one area that we need to improve on; to be consistent in our performances and be classified among the best.
"It’s all about the three points at the moment and getting the tournament to a good start,” added Ellis.
The coach was joined by Banyana Banyana goalkeeper and co-captain Andile Dlamini who shared the same sentiments with regard to the importance of the game from the players’ perspective.
"As players’ we are extremely excited about our match tomorrow, it won’t be easy but we are confident our technical team has done enough homework, and it's now up to us to do our best in the field of play," said Dlamini.