Thursday, June 13, 2024
HomeBanyana BanyanaBanyana’s Road To Olympics Continues

Banyana’s Road To Olympics Continues

Banyana Banyana captain Thembi Kgatlana scored a second-half brace for South Africa, as they defeated Democratic Republic of Congo 2-0 in the second leg of their 2024 Paris Olympic qualifier to progress to the third round at Orlando Stadium on Monday afternoon.

Andile Dlamini started in goals while Nicole Michael, who assisted Banyana’s goal last week, moved from the bench into the starting team. Linda Motlhalo and Jermaine Seoposenwe also started after missing out in the first leg, while Kholosa Biyana started from the bench with the back four unchanged from the first leg.

The hosts’ intentions to score showed early on in the third minute after Seoposenwe was fouled, however, the resulting free kick attempt from Banyana was tame. A minute later it was the visitors with a chance but Dlamini was there to make save.

In the ninth minute a miscommunication from the South African defenders saw Mervelle Kanjinja strike a powerful shot, which was met with an equal super save by the Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies keeper.

In the 12th minute a Congolese player handled the ball in the box but referee did not give a penalty for the incident.

In the 16th minute Banyana got a clear chance at goal, when Noxolo Cesane found Hildah Magaia who passed to Thembi Kgatlana but the captain could not put the ball away.

In the 24th minute Michael crossed to Kgatlana who couldn’t decide fast enough in the box but the ball was kept alive by Seoposenwe who was also unlucky to not burry it, then it fell for Wendy Shongwe who took a shot and nothing came from it.

Banyana won a set-piece in the 27th minute, Magaia stepped up and tested Brigitte Ngamita who spilled the ball, however, there wasn’t a quick reaction from the African champions to bury it. Six minutes later Kgatlana had another golden opportunity to break the deadlock but she missed.

At the stroke of half-time Kgatlana was again involved in another goal scoring opportunity but the decision-making let her down with Michael waiting for the ball. The game went into the break at 0-0.

Eight minutes into the second half Kgatlana was fouled earning Banyana a free-kick, Cesane took it but once again nothing came from it.

In the 58th minute another great opportunity for South Africa with the Louisville forward but the keeper came out to make a save and it fell for Cesane who took a shot from range but that too was dealt with.

Three minutes later Desiree Ellis’ charges won a corner kick, Karabo Dhlamani swung it to Shongwe’s head but her attempt was cleared off the line by the DRC captain Danny Ngoyi Kanyanya.

In the 71st minute, Biyana, who had come off the bench, was instrumental in splitting the DRC defense, passing the ball Michael who found her captain who had the net to smash and this time she made no mistake and broke the deadlock.  

Micahel could have sealed the victory with a second goal but the TS Galaxy Queens player’s efforts were stopped by Ngamita. However, it was the same combination of Biyana, Michael and Kgatana that saw Banyana score their second goal in the 89th minute.

Banyana will meet the winner of the match between Tanzania and Botswana in the third round of the qualifiers in February next 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.