Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk says they had it tough in Gabon but got the most important thing – a positive result.

Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk says they had it tough in Gabon but got the most important thing – a positive result.

The South African Senior Women’s National Team head into the second leg with an advantage after beating their counterparts from Gabon 3-2.

The match took place on Satuday, 23 May in the capital Libreville.

The hosts took the lead as early as the third minute from the penalty spot. This was after a defensive blunder that led to the spot kick.

South Africa recovered well and took a 2-1 lead at half time, but again a lapse in defence helped Gabon equalise in the second half before Banyana Banyana got the third goal to seal victory.

“It was a very tough match for us, actually we played against ourselves. We made silly mistakes that cost us two goals but that is part of the game. Fortunately we have the second leg that we will play at home, so we have a chance to rectify the mistakes, and I believe it will be much easier for us,” said Van Wyk.

“We tried to dominate the game but we couldn’t. The good thing is that we managed to get three goals in the back of the net, and an away win – it’s three important goals which helped a lot and made us win the game, but there are still areas which need fixing on the field and this week we will be working on them. We stuck together and it wasn’t easy, Gabon constanstly broke our momentum by going down every two minutes but we still managed to fight hard and get the win. We showed a lot of character and if we can continue with that momentum I am confident we will get a convincing win in the second leg because technically we are much better than them.”

Her words were echoed by midfielder Amanda Dlamini.

“It was a really frustrating afternoon where nothing was going right. We tried to play our normal game but it just couldn’t happen and then we put a lot of pressure on ourselves which made matters worse. But the most important thing is that it was the first leg and we still were able to get a win away, so we will have to do better in the return leg at home,” said Dlamini who did not return for the second half after she was fouled late in the first stanza, which seemed to slow her down.

“They got me on the knee but it was nothing too serious. At the time it was a bit painful and I wanted to continue but the coach felt it was not necessary. After the flight from Gabon I am not feeling any pains so I will see as the week progresses but I should be fine for the next match.”

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