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Banyana Set Up Final Olympic Qualifier Vs Nigeria

Banyana Banyana will resume their rivalry with Nigeria’s Super Falcons to meet for a ticket to the 2024 Olympics in France following a  4-0 aggregate victory over Tanzania in the third round qualifiers.

Kholosa Biyana came off the bench to set-up Thembi Kgatlana as Banyana won the second leg 1-0 in Mbombela on Tuesday evening after winning the first leg 3-0 in Dar es Selaam last Friday.

On Monday, Nigeria defeated Cameroon 1-0 on aggregate to get to the final qualifying round.

Coach Desiree Ellis made four changes from the team that started in Tanzania last week. Fikile Magama started ahead of Lebohang Ramalepe while Lonathemba Mhlongo came on for Noko Matlou in defense. Hildah Magaia was out of the match-day squad and was replaced by Gabriela Salgado while Amogelang Motau and Kholosa Biyana swapped places in the starting team.

The visitors had chances early in the match to score through Aisha Mnuka in the opening five minutes but Kaylin Swart made an easy save. Kgatlana could have grabbed the opener for Banyana from a tight angle but that was blocked. However she kept it alive and passed to Noxolo Cesane who could not finish in the 10th minute.

Seven minutes later it was Kgatlana again squaring the ball from the right for Salgado but the latter was late to finish. South Africa lost Cesane to injury in the 36 th minute with the coach replacing her with Ramalepe.

Two minutes after that Tanzania scored with a beautiful header from Stumai Athumani but it was flagged offside. Athumani tried her luck again five minutes to the break but Swart made another easy save, leaving the game deadlocked at half-time.

Banyana made two changes at the start of the second half, with Biyana coming on for Motau, while Nomvula Kgoale replaced Salgado. Kgatlana got a chance to put the African champions ahead three minutes into the half but her shot was blocked.

The captain finally got on the score sheet in the 58th minute from a Biyana set-piece. Biyana lasted only 20 minutes, as she had to be subbed with injury with Lesego Nkoane coming on to make her national team debut in the 65th minute.

Athumani could have equalised for the Twiga Stars after Swart lipped in the rain however the JVW Girls number one recovered quickly to make a save. The hosts pushed for to double their lead when Ramalepe found Linda Mothlalo hwever she shot into the keeper’s hands in the 80th minute.

Meanwhile Seoposenwe earned her 100th cap in the fixture.

Lethabo Kganyago
Lethabo Kganyago
Lethabo Kganyago is currently working as a web and newspaper writer for iDiski Times. This award-winning sports journalist covers the Limpopo area and also specialises in coverage of women's football, including Banayana Banyana.
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