14 November 2018 – The South African national U17 women’s team played to a goalless draw against Mexico in their opening Group B encounter at the Estadio Domingo Burgueño Miguel on Tuesday 13 November 2018.

After surviving opening minutes of intense pressure and shaking off some early nerves, the South Africans came out of their shell in the second half and showed they are in this FIFA u17 World Cup to make a statement.

Bantwana almost fell behind in the third minute of the game, with the CONCACAF runners up striking a shot towards Kay-dee Windvogel as the ball slipped through her hands but she just managed to retrieve it before it crossed the line. Mexico continued to launch raids and in the 11th minute they missed a sitter in front of goals. They had another opportunity with a header from the golden boot winner Alison Gonzalez whose weak shot was easily saved by Windvogel.

Bantwana were forced to defend deep most of the first half as they struggled to contain the onslaught of the South Americans.

With Bantwana having survived the early pressure in which the Mexicans had them on the ropes, it was a different ball game altogether in the second half as Simphiwe Dludlu’s charges came fighting in the second half.

The referee showed four yellow cards against Mexico’s defender Reyna Reyes and Nayeli Diaz for they dangerous tackles while Bantwana captain Sibulele Holweni was also booked for tugging substitute Tanna Carreto, and midfielder Jessica Wade joining the party in attempts to stop problematic attacking midfielder Anette Vazquez awarding them a set piece just outside the box.

In the other Group B game Japan and Brazil also played to a goalless stalemate which leaves all the teams with a point each going into the second round of matches.