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Banyana’s Last 16 Opponents Confirmed

Banyana Banyana will face the Netherlands the round of the 16 at the FIFA Women’s World Cup after making the knockout stages for the very first time.

South Africa’s women’s national team sent the country through an emotional rollercoaster on Wednesday morning after coming from behind to beat Italy thanks to a goal by Thembi Kgatlana in the 92nd minute.

Banyana had to overcome several setbacks in the game, with Italy opening the score after just 11 minutes via a penalty by Arianna Caruso. A Benedetta Orsi own-goal in the 32nd minute levelled matters before the break, while Hildah Magaia scored the much-celebrated 2-1 after 67 minutes.

However, celebrations turned quickly into frustration when Caruso found the back of the net on the other end – with a 2-2 draw enough to send Italy through.

But Thembi Kgatlana had the last word in the exciting clash and her goal in the 92nd minute sent Banyana into the knockout stages for the very first time in history.

Desiree Ellis’ team will now face 2019 runners-up Netherlands in the last 16 after they finished in first position in Group E.

They beat Portugal in their opening match 1-0 before drawing 1-1 with record champions USA. A 7-0 against Vietnam saw Oranje end their group stage with seven points after scoring nine goals and conceding just two.

The match kicks off at 4AM (SAST) on Sunday morning.

David Kappel
David Kappel
David Kappel has served as a renowned international editor and content manager for almost a decade. David specialises in ensuring content and social media posts are highly engaging for football fans and was previously the international editor at Soccer Laduma. He is currently the iDiski Times website editor and social strategist.