The South African u20 Women’s National Team, Basetsana, scored a crucial away goal in their 2016 Papua New Guinea Women’s u20 World Cup qualifier against Nigeria.
Basetsana went down 2-1 to the Falconets of Nigeria on Saturday, 24 October 2015 at the National Stadium Abuja in Nigeria.
The visitors held their own for 29 minutes against their much-fancied opponents until Chinwendu Veronica Ihezuo broke the deadlock in the 30th minute.
It was the hosts who asked all the questions earlier and were rewarded with that goal.
Nigeria could have increased their lead a short while later only for Uchenna Grace Kanu’s shot to hit the upright, roll across the goal line and bounce back into play, falling into the hands of South African goalkeeper Mapaseka Mpuru.
Basetsana did not have any clear cup chances in this stanza.
On the stroke of half time, a tame-looking shot was deflected into the net for an own goal by Caryn van Reyneveld to give Nigeria u20 a 2-0 lead at the break.
In the second half, the hosts continued from where they left off in the first half, and Basetsana were let off the hook in the 65th minute when the defence cleared off the line with Mpuru well beaten.
South Africa suffered a double blow when Noma Sikweza was taken off injured and her replacement Amanda Mthandi did not finish the match due to an injury. Thato Letsoso took her place.
Basetsana held their own in the second half with Mpuru the busier of the two goalkeepers.
South Africa was awarded a goal in the 90th minute after a Nigerian defender handled in the box, Gabriela Salgado stepped up to give Basetsana the much-needed away goal.
It ended Nigeria u20 2 South Africa u20 1.
The South Africans return home immediately after the match and are expected to land on Sunday, 25 October at 16h00.
The second leg is scheduled for Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa on Saturday, 7 November 2015. Kick-off is at 15h00.
The winner will qualify for the 2016 FIFA u20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea.
This is how they lined up:
Nigeria u20: Chiichii (GK) (C), Ologbosere, Ogbonna, Ukwuoma, Emenayo, Kalu, Igbinovia, Biahwo, Kanu, Ihezuo, Uchendu
Subs: Ohiaeriaku, Famuditi, Elijah, Ojinma, Bokiri, Yakubu, Onyebuchi
South Africa u20: Mapaseka Mpuru (GK), Tiisetso Makhubela, Sinenhlanhla Shozi, Caryn van Ryneveld, Linda Motlhalo, Noma Sikweza, Mosili Makhoali, Amogelang Motau (C), Gabriela Salgado, Bongeka Gamede
Subs: Amanda Mthandi, Thato Letsoso, Asa Rabalao, Zimasa Dekeda, Regirl Ngobeni, Puleng Moremi.