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Banyana go down 2-0 to France in Reunion

Banyana

The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana went down 2-0 to their French counterparts in Sunday’s  international friendly match played on Reunion Island.

This was the second defeat for the visitors following that of 2009 where they lost 3-2 in their first ever clash.

As expected, the clash started at a fast pace with the home wanting to stamp their authority – and it was not long before they took the lead in the eighth minute through a Griedge Mbock Bathy goal after the South African defence was exposed.

The goal seemed to unsettle the visitors as they lost shape and could not play their kind of football that won them the hearts of many at last year’s CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

As this was the first match of the year for both teams, South Africa seemed to struggle more for much of the game and allowed the hosts to dictate terms from the onset.

France managed to bridge the Banyana Banyana defence but defender Nothando Vilakazi stopped the ball on the line, and hoofed it away for a corner.

The South Africans then got a rare chance going forward. A beautiful move started by Linda Motlhalo in the middle of the park, as she took on defenders, saw her pass the ball to Amanda Dlamini who played it onto the path of Andisiwe Mgcoyi to tap in for a goal, which she did – but unfortunately she was ruled offside.

Sensing danger, the French increased the tempo and continued with their attacks – and the result was a goal in the 35th minute by Bathy, her second of the night.

Banyana Banyana interim head coach Desiree Ellis then introduced fresh legs in the second half to try and change the fortunes of her team.

She gave Bontle Mashilo her debut, replacing Lebohang Ramalepe. Shiwe Nogwanya took the place of Amanda Dlamini, Rhoda Mulaudzi replaced Mgcoyi while Noko Matlou entered the fray in place of captain Janine van Wyk.

But the French resistance was resolute and gave nothing away.

The South Africans put up a better performance in the second half despite France still calling the shots – but there were no goals in this half. France are ranked third in the world, and second in UEFA compared to South Africa’s 51st and fifth ranking respectively.

This is how Banyana lined up: Andile Dlamini, Nothando Vilakazi, Janine van Wyk (capt) (Noko Matlou), Lebohang Ramalepe (Bontle Mashilo), Linda Motlhalo, Amanda Dlamini (Shiwe Nogwanya), Jermaine Seoposenwe, Bambanani Mbane, Andisiwe Mgcoyi (Rhoda Mulaudzi), Refiloe Jane, Leandra Smeda

Subs: Yolula Tsawe (GK), Monnye Theledi (GK), Lebogang Mabatle, Noko Matlou, Gabriela Salgado, Silindile Ngubane, Thembi Kgatlana, Rhoda Mulaudzi, Zinhle Chabaku, Shiwe Nogwanya, Bontle Mashilo


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