Banyana Sink Scotland
08 March 2009
|Banyana Banyana looked a totally different side when they took the field on Saturday afternoon, in their second Eight Nations Cup game, against Scotland at the GSP Main Stadium in Cyprus which ended in a 2-0 victory.
The South African coach, Augustine Makalakalane, was overjoyed by his team's performance, â€śWe played really well; everything we planned paid off and it also restored our confidence after our defeat to England. It also provided us with motivation for our next game.
Noko Matlou Celebrating
In their previous match the South African ladies were thumped 6-0 by an inform England side. This was not the case when they took on the Scots in their second group match. They clearly learned from their mistakes against the Poms and produced a far superior performance.
The difference did not lie in a long list of line-up changes, instead they played more as a team, more dedicated to the cause and with a never say die attitude.
The game started at a frantic pace with tackles flying in from all directions. Banyana were physically muscled off the ball in their last match and they were determined not to let the same happen against Scotland. It was certainly not a game for the weak-hearted as every tackle made had a crunching sound to it.
Sadly in the 37th minute Sebata Molatelo fell victim to one of these vicious tackles and consequently was substituted due to injury. Chantelle Esau came on in her place and almost made an immediate impact forcing the Scottish goalie into a fantastic save with her first touch on the ball.
Mukondi Mulaudzi in particular was in fine form for Banyana, between the uprights, bouncing back from conceding six goals against England to providing a wall in front of her goal against Scotland. Had it not have been for some superb diving saves by Mulaudzi South Africa would have gone into the break a couple of goals down.
South Africa were certainly the more dominant team in the second 45 as they constantly applied pressure on the Scotland goal and were rewarded for their efforts when the women's African Footballer of the Year, Noko Matlou, put Banyana in front in the 75th minute. Matlou latched on to a perfect cross from Kylie-Ann Louw with an expert finish, 1-0.
The icing on the cake for South Africa was their second goal scored from the spot by Hlengiwe Ngwane five minutes from time to stretch Banyana's lead to two which it remained till the end of the match.
South Africa will certainly see this as a great leap in their women's football, looking to qualifying for the 2011 World Cup in the future.
In the other Group A fixture, England and France played to a 2-2 draw.
Scotland (0) 0
Banyana (0) 2 (Matlou 75', Ngwane 85' pen)
Banyana team: Mulaudzi; Van Wyk (Mogotlhe 46'), Dludlu, Thato, Ndimeni, Thobejane (Mosebo 46'), Ngwane, Louw, Rammala (Ntsweng 90'), Molatelo (Esau 37'), Matlou