Our London Olympic women’s football team, Banyana Banyana finished off a highly successful 2012 campaign, by thrashing Botswana 3-0 in an international friendly near Rustenburg on Monday.
The Sasol-sponsored national senior women’s team were 2-0 ahead at halftime, in a match staged to mark the North West Provincial Government’s campaign aimed at raising awareness during the 16 Days of Activism against Women and Child Abuse.
Tall Mamelodi Sundowns (Sasol League Gauteng) striker Andiswe Mgcoyi opened the scoring from a tight angle on the left hand side of the Botswana penalty area in the 11th minute. Mgcoyi’s club-mate, midfielder Refiloe Jane, celebrated her 17th national cap by scoring her first goal for Banyana Banyana, by way of a header from a corner-kick in the 22nd minute.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, substitute striker Noko Matlou made her presence felt by scoring from close range.
Banyana Banyana national coach Joseph Mkhonza used the match played in hot conditions, to give as many players game time as possible with midfielders in Precious Matabologa and Maile Makola both earning their first international caps.
This was the first time that the Southern African neighbours had met since last year’s All-Africa Games qualifiers, which saw Botswana stun the South Africans 1-0 in Polokwane before Banyana Banyana crushed their opponents 4-0 on an artificial pitch in Gaborone to advance to the African showpiece held in Mozambique late last year.
The South Africans, without the services of captain Amanda Dlamini (who was given some time off) and Amanda Sister (family commitments) dominated all phases of the 90 minutes of play.
ÔÇ£The match was the perfect platform to try out some of the newcomers to the Banyana Banyana team and Safa and Sasol need to be commended for the support shown to women’s football in a year which has seen the national team compete at the London Olympics and make the final of the CAF African Women Championship 2012 held in Equatorial Guinea last month,ÔÇØ said Mkhonza.
ÔÇ£The players will get a well-deserved break over the festive season and return refreshed next year to prepare for the 12-nation Cyprus Women’s Cup tournament to be in March.ÔÇØ