Sasol Banyana Banyana turned on the heat in the first 45 minutes, scoring three great goals before wrapping up a vintage afternoon with a late Ode Fulutudilu strike and consigning Botswana to a thumping 4-1 defeat in Vanderbijlpark on a chilly Saturday afternoon.
Goals from woman-of-the-match Leandra Smeda, who scored a brilliant brace, and veteran Portia Modise put the national women’s football side firmly in the driving seat in the first half.
Although they took the foot off the pedal in the second half, they were still able to put the icing on the cake with a late strike from Fulutudilu to complete a comprehensive and well deserved 4-0 victory.
This friendly international was Vera Pauw’s fourth game in charge after Zimbabwe, Ghana and Comoros as she continues to build a formidable team for the African Women Championships scheduled for Namibia in October this year.
Banyana started brightly stamping their authority, looking far more tactically astute and physically athletic in a match played at the Isak Steyl Stadium, University of Technology.
Banyana got the opening goal in the 13th minute through a stinging drive by Smeda,┬á whose sweet shot gave the Botswana goalkeeper no chance to make it 1-0 for the home side.
Smeda made it 2-0 in the 22nd minute with a well taken towering header following a corner kick. With Banyana buzzing, the Botswana defence looked stretched and out of sorts.
The tall Smeda was proving a thorn in the flesh with her well timed headers and almost grabbed the third in the 26th minute but saw her effort go narrowly wide.
Banyana Banyana made it 3-0 in the 36th minute through veteran Modise with a simple strike inside the box as Pauw’s girls started to turn on the heat.
Refilwe Jane then saw her thunderbolt pushed for a corner as the referee blew for half-time.
In the second half, Botswana tried to get back into the mix but Banyana Banyana still looked more organised and purposeful.
The visitors created some half chances as they made a game of this friendly game played in biting cold weather synonymous with the Vaal Triangle at this time of year.
Smeda missed an opportunity to seal her hat-trick in the 64th minute when she shot straight into the hands of the Botswana goalkeeper who palmed the attempt away for a corner.
In the 77th minute, Smeda, who was voted Diski Queen of the match, could not believe her eyes as her attempt was scooped for another corner denying her a well-deserved hat-trick.
But┬á made it 4-0 with a well-taken strike in the 83rd minute to complete an excellent afternoon for Banyana Banyana.