The Bantwana national women’s U17 football side have downed Botswana 5-2 in their first leg, first round 2018 U17 World Cup qualifying match at Lobatse on Friday after leading 3-1 at the break.
With this being a new squad, South Africa head coach Simphiwe Dludlu gave debuts to 11 players, and they did not disappoint.
Goals from Karabo Dlamini, Thambolinye Mzoneli, Miche Minnies, Jessica Wade as well as an own goal from Tshegofatso Mosotho were enough to see South Africa take a healthy lead going into the second leg which will be played in two weeks time.
Bantwana started on a high, grabbing the first goal in the first minute of play through Dlamini, before Mzoneli made it 2-0 in the 15th minute.
But a minute later the hosts pulled one back when Leungo Senwelo latched on to a defence-splitting pass and pushed the ball past an advancing Kaydee Windvogel in the Bantwana goals.
Four minutes before the half time whistle, South Africa extended their lead through an own goal by Tshegofatso Mosotho – leaving the score at 3-1.
In the second stanza, Bantwana continued where they left off in the first half and increased their lead to 4-1 from a Miche Minnies goal in the 56th minute.
Five minutes later South Africa was awarded a free kick and Jessica Wade took it brilliantly to beat Atang Sedimonyane in the Botswana goals.
In the 73rd minute Bantwana captain Kaylin Jordaan was adjudged to have fouled her opponent and Botswana were awarded a penalty.
Esalenna Galekhutle stepped up to take it but Windvogel pulled off a beautiful save to keep the scored at 5-1 to Bantwana.
Only three players from the Bantwana squad who featured against Botswana have played international football before (Jordaan, Karabo Dlamini and substitute Sibulele Holweni), and three goal scorers (Mzoneli, Minnies and Wade) got onto the score sheet on their debut.
South Africa head coach Simphiwe Dludlu made two substitutions bringing Holweni for Mzoneli and Micaela Nunens for Wade.
Bantwana return to South Africa on Saturday and the second leg will be played at Dobsonville, Soweto on Saturday, 16 December.