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Banyana Suffer Setback In Olympic Qualifier First Leg

Banyana Banyana lost 1-0 to Nigeria in the first leg of the last round of the 2024 Paris Olympics qualifier in Abjuja on Friday evening.

In a match that wasn’t available for the South African public to watch due to the host broadcaster not honouring an agreement, Nigeria seemed to be dominating proceedings early on.

The Super Falcons captain Rasheedat Ajiabde converted a penalty late in the first half after Banyana defender Noko Matlou committed a foul in the box.

But even before the spot-kick the hosts had chances that goalkeeper Kaylin Swart dealt with to deny them a bigger score line.

When the second half commenced Jermaine Seoposenwe had an opportunity to level, however she was denied by Chiamaka Nnadozie 10 minutes into the stanza.

Swart was on song to deny Nigeria an extension of their lead with six minutes left on the clock. Seoposenwe could have stolen a point for the visitors in injury-time but her shot went over the bar.

Meanwhile, Banyana captain Refiloe Jane started the match, her first game in national colours since August last year when she sustained an injury in a World Cup match against Argentina in Australia and New Zealand.

Bambanani Mbane also made an appearance from the bench in the dying minutes of the match. It was also her first time with the team since an injury sustained in the World Cup against Netherlands last year.

All is not lost for the African champions but will have it all to do in the return leg in Pretoria next Tuesday, if they are to book their place at the event later this year.

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.