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Banyana Held To Disappointing Draw

African Champions Banyana Banyana conceded a last-minute penalty against Senegal as the two sides played to a dull 1-1 draw in the first of two friendly internationals played at the Stade Lat Dior on Saturday evening.

In the fourth minute, the Les Teranga Lionesses were first to show intent at goal when a Senegalese striker rose highest and headed in from a corner kick towards the South Africans in the 18-yard box but Karabo Dhlamini cleared the ball to safety.

The 17th minute provided the visitors with a chance to open the account when Sibulele Holweni received the ball on the edge of the box after a goalmouth scramble. Her resulting shot was disappointing though as it went straight at the Senegalese defence who cleared the ball from danger.

Senegal caught Banyana on the counterattack in the 18th minute, with their attacker flying with pace down the right flank before she whipped in a low cross but Kaylin Swart came off her line to make a comfortable save.

Banyana got on the attack again, this time in the 19th minute when Nthabiseng Majiya showed pace on the right side before taking a shot toward the goal. Her effort though, was saved.

In the 30th minute, Desiree Ellis’s troops wasted another chance when they were given a free kick ten yards out. Holweni took the set-piece but it failed to trouble Senegal, with their goalkeeper coming out to collect it.

Senegal were agonisingly close to going ahead in the 31st minute with a cross into the box. Banyana struggled to cope with the tall Senegalese striker who again out-jumped them to get a header towards goal but Swart came to the rescue as it fell safely into her hands. The first-half ended with the scores till tied at 0-0.

Banyana thought they deserved a penalty when they got on the front foot in the 53rd minute. Dhlamini found Noxolo Cesane inside the box but her shot landed straight at the Senegalese defender’s outstretched hands. The referee thought otherwise though as she waved play on.

Senegal turned possession over in the 58th minute with a defence-splitting pass that left the South African defence flatfooted. Swart again came to the rescue, rushing off her line to kick it out of touch.

It was however the visitors who got on the scoresheet first. Majiya left the Senegal defence for dead with her pace to beat the offside trap and slot past the hapless Senegalese goalkeeper to hand her side the 1-0 lead.

The hosts had one more chance to try and level matters in the 80th minute with a setpiece. The shot though sailed straight at Swart’s hands who again made another comfortable save.

It looked as if the South Africans would run away with the win until Senegal was gifted a contentious penalty in the 90th minute for an apparent handball. Senegal converted the resulting spot-kick to steal a point at the death as the match ended 1-1.

iDiski Times
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