Noko Alice Matlou (born 30 September 1985) is a South African soccer player who plays as a striker for Spanish Primera División side SD Eibar. She has represented the South Africa women’s national team both as a striker and a defender. In 2008, Matlou became the first South African to be named African Women’s Footballer of the Year.
At a club level, she plays for MaIndies. She has previously played for Development Ladies, Brazilian Ladies and the University of Johannesburg. Within footballing circles, she is nicknamed “Beep-Beep”. Matlou trains with male footballers to enhance her game: “I train regularly with local male clubs and when I get on to the field with the women they simply cannot touch me.”
Matlou made her debut for South Africa women’s national football team (“Banyana Banyana”) in December 2006. In September 2009, Matlou was subjected to a gender “inspection” by a referee in the presence of the opposition captain, before South Africa’s match against Ghana at Caledonian Stadium, Pretoria. She was allowed to play in the match after being confirmed as female.
Matlou came to prominence within the national team by scoring six goals at the 2008 African Women’s Championship. She has been selected for the squads for a variety of tournaments, including at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom. In 2014, South Africa’s coachVera Pauw deployed Matlou—previously a striker, as a defender.