Banyana Banyana narrowly lost 1-0 to Ghana in a high tempo friendly soccer match at a chilly Dobsonville Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
This was coach Vera Pauw’s second game in charge of the Sasol sponsored national women’s side, having drawn 2-2 with Zimbabwe in her first assignment at the same venue last month.
A second half delicately struck free kick from Portia Boakye was all that separated the two sides that provided rich entertainment at a vibrant Soweto venue.
The match was attended by among others, the Minister of Sport, Fikile Mbalula, SASCOC President, Gideon Sam, SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan and several SAFA NEC members.
There was little to talk about in the opening 45 minutes as the two teams looked happy to weigh each other up, with little action on the goalmouth.
The match however, opened up big time in the second half with both sides throwing everything upfront with Ghana’s Boakye, substitute Elizabeth Cudjoe and Mercy Myles causing lots of problems to the Banyana back four.
Pauw’s charges didn’t sit back however and fashioned their own attacks with Leandra Smeda at the heart of all of the Banyana Banyana attacks.
Captain Janine van Wyk made a timely tackle soon after the restart when Cudjoe was about to pull a trigger.
However, it was Boakye who was proving a handful with her electrifying pace and it came as no surprise when she netted the only goal of the afternoon.
Ghana won a free kick deep inside Banyana Banyana area and Boakye spotted Thoko Ndaweni off her line, powering a long range effort into the back of the net.
Banyana replied immediately, and with vengeance, with Smeda first firing a long range shot and then watching her point blank header saved by Nana Asantewaa in goals for the visitors.
The Ghanaian goalkeeper then made several more great saves as Banyana Banyana chased what proved to be an elusive equaliser.
Banyana Banyana leave for Comoros on Monday where they will play in an African Women championships qualifier.
Starting line ups:
South Africa: (16) Thoko Ndaweni, (3) Nothando Vilakazi, (5) Janine van Wyk, (7) Nomathemba Ntsibande, (8) Simphiwe Dludlu, (9) Amanda Dlamini, (12) Portia Modise, (14) Sanah Molo, (15) Refiloe Jane, (17) Leandra Smeda, (18) Mamello Makhabane
Ghana: (16) Nana Asantewaa (Goalkeeper), (2) Hillia Kobblah, (4) Faiza Ibrahim, (5) Janet Egyir, (8) Juliet Acheampong, (9) Samira Suleman, (11) Cynthia Adobea, (13) Leticia Zikpi, (14) Mercy Myles, (15) Rosemary Ampem, (17) Portia Boakye.