7 October 2018– Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana went down 2-1 to Chile in an international friendly match played on Saturday, 6 October at Estadio Sausalito in Vina del Mar, Chile.
The South Africans had to play with 10 players from the 38thminute after striker Jermaine Seoposenwe was red carded for a late tackle.
Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis had made two changes to the squad that started the final of the COSAFA Women’s Championship held in Port Elizabeth last month, as she brought in Leandra Smeda for Thembi Kgatlana while Bambanani Mbane started ahead of Noko Matlou.
This was a historic first meeting between South Africa and Chile – with Banyana Banyana the first ever-African team to face the South Americans in their hometown.
Ellis’ charges had a chance on the 15thminute when Refiloe Jane’s volley just went wide.
About a minute later Kgaelebane Mohlakoana had a shot at goal, and with the keeper beaten, she could not beat the crossbar, and the ball went out.
The home side also had chances of their own and could have taken the lead in the 21stminute from a free-kick that went directly to goal but Kaylin Swart was equal to the task and parried it for a corner.
Chile did however get their goal – in the 36thminute, after Banyana Banyana failed to defend from a corner and Carla Guerrero rose the highest to head in and take a 1-0 lead.
Seven minutes from the break the visitors found themselves in deeper trouble when they went a player down after Jermaine Seoposenwe was given her marching orders for an off the ball foul.
South Africa hung in to see the end of the half.
Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis made two changes early in the second half introducing Thembi Kgatlana and Rachel Sebati for Mohlakoana and Leandra Smeda.
Sebati made her presence felt when she hit a great volley in the 65thminute but it hit an opponent and fell into the arms of Christiane Endler in the Chile goals.
Despite being down to ten players, South Africa held their own, and got the much-needed equaliser when Jane found herself alone in the box in the 67thminute and easily slotted past Endler to make it 1-1.
This was her 10thgoal in Banyana Banyana colours, making her 91stappearance – Jane was continuing from where she left off when she scored two goals in the final of the COSAFA Women’s Championship played in Port Elizabeth last month to help South Africa lift the trophy.
But the jubilation did not last long as two minutes later captain Janine van Wyk was adjudged to have fouled a player in the box, and a penalty was awarded to Chile La Roja Feminina.
Karen Araya stepped up and made no mistake from the spot kick to restore the home side’s lead.
Battling hard for an equaliser, Ellis brought on fresh legs with Nompumelelo Nyandeni replacing Kholosa Biyana late in the second half, but did not bring the desired result – and it ended 2-1 to the South Americans.
This was Banyana Banyana’s first loss in eight matches.
After losing to Belgium in March in the Cyprus Cup, they registered back to back victories over Lesotho in the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers earlier this year. They continued the winning streak when they went unbeaten in five matches at the COSAFA Cup, where they won gold.
Both South Africa and Chile were using the matches for preparations – Chile has qualified for the 2019 FIFA World Cup in France, while the visitors are getting ready for the AFCON tournament in Ghana next month, which also serves as a qualifier for the soccer showpiece in France.
The two countries will do battle again in the second international friendly on Tuesday, 9 October at Estadio Santa Laura in the capital Santiago.
Kickoff is at 22h00 local time(Wednesday, 10 October at 03h00 South African time)
This is how they lined up:
Christiane Endler (GK) (C), Geraldine Leyton, Carla Guerrero, Camila Sáez, Francisca Lara, Claudio Soto, Karen Araya, Yesenia López, María José Rojas, Yanara Aedo, Bárbara Santibañez
Natalia Campos, Rocío Soto, Ambar Soruco, Javiera Grez, Nicol Sanhueza, Su Helen Galaz, Ana Gutiérrez, Yessenia Huenteo, Isidora Olave
HEAD COACH: JOSÉ LETELIER
Kaylin Swart (GK), Lebohang Ramalepe, Nothando Vilakazi, Janine Van Wyk (captain), Kgaelebane Mohlakoana (Thembi Kgatlana), Linda Motlhalo, Jermaine Seoposenwe, Bambanani Mbane, Refiloe Jane, Leandra Smeda (Rachel Sebati), Kholosa Biyana (Nompumelelo Nyandeni)
Roxanne Barker (GK), Noko Matlou, Regina Mogolola, Khanya Xesi, Koketso Tlailane, Thembi Kgatlana, Rachel Sebati, Andile Dlamini (GK), Nompumelelo Nyandeni
Not in match day squad:
Ode Fulutudilu and Melinda Kgadiete
HEAD COACH: DESIREE ELLIS