The South African u20 Women’s National Team, Basetsana, are through to the third and final round of qualifiers for the 2016 Papua New Guinea FIFA u20 Women’s World Cup.
Basetsana defeated Zambia 3-2 in a hard-fought battle played in scotching heat at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa, Johannesburg on Saturday, 10 October 2015.
The first leg ending goalless two weeks ago (Sunday, 27 September) at the Nkoloma Stadium in Zambia, so the pressure was on South Africa, as any goal by the visitors would make it a mountain to climb for the hosts.
Basetsana started brightly though, scoring just under 20 seconds into the match through Linda Motlhalo to ease the pressure.
The home side could have gone to the break with more goals on the score sheet, but Thembi Kgatlana rushed her shot when she was facing the opposition keeper, while Motlhalo also shot wide with the net open.
Zambia also had their chances too but Mapaseka Mpuru was alert in the South African goals to deny them.
After the restart, the visitors silenced the home crowd when captain Barbra Banda found the equaliser with a cool finish past Mpuru – meaning South Africa had to score two to advance.
Mosili Makhoali, who was a thorn in the Zambian defence, together with Kgatlana and Motlhalo, restored Basetsana’s lead in the 56th minute.
The celebrations had hardly died down when second half substitute, Agnes Musesa made it 2-all two minutes later.
Motlhalo was back in the thick of things to hand the lead back to Basetsana with a well-taken goal in the 73rd minute – leading to a nerve-wrecking final minutes for South Africa.
However much Zambia tried to attack, Basetsana were resolute in defence to protect their lead and it ended 3-2 to the hosts much to the delight of home crowd who backed the girls all the way.
The win was sweet revenge for South Africa as Zambia edged them out of the 2015 FIFA u17 Women’s World Cup qualifiers, which was held in New Zealand.
Basetsana next face Nigeria (who defeated RD Congo) in the third and final round in two weeks time.
The first leg will be played on the weekend of 23, 24 25 October with the return match scheduled for 6, 7, 8 November.
The 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup will be the 8th edition of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, and will be held in Papua New Guinea.
A total of 16 teams qualify for the final tournament – two from the African continent.
This is how they lined up:
South Africa: Mapaseka Mpuru (GK), Amanda Mthandi, Tiisetso Makhubela, Jamie-Lee Witbooi (Caryn van Reyneveld), Linda Motlhalo, Thembi Kgatlana, Thato Letsoso, Mosili Makhoali (Nomathamsanqa Sikweza), Amogelang Motau (c), Gabriela Salgado, Thalea Smidt
Subs: Caryn van Reyneveld, Drishana Pillay, Nomathamsanqa Sikweza, Lelona Daweti, Regirl Ngobeni, Anelisa Ndyebi, Puleng Moremi, Tshwarelo Digaoto, Asa Rabalao
Zambia: Milika Limwanya, Elizabeth Nachivula (Agnes Musesa), Margert Belemu, Penelope Mulumbwa (Martha Tembo), Grace Chanda, Barbra Banda (C), Esther Mukwasa, Ireen Lungu, Hellen Chanda, Hazel Nali, Iweendo Chisamu
Subs: Ngambo Musole, Melan Mulenga, Jackline Nkole, Agnes Musesa, Judith Zulu, Martha Tembo, Rodah Chileshe