21 November 2018 – The South African national U17 team, Bantwana put out a gallant fight in their 4-1 loss to Brazil at Estadio Charrúa on Montevideo on Tuesday in the third and final Group B match at the U-17 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Goals from Jheniffer, Julia, Amanda and Maria Eduarda secured the win for Brazil, but they still bowed out of the tournament alongside Bantwana whose consolation goal came from Zethembiso Vilakazi.
South Africa was off to a great start in the first half, catching the Brazilians off guard with a shot by striker Chelsea Daniels, whose attempt was blocked by Brazilian keeper Mayara, within the opening minutes of the game.
Bantwana played their best first half since the tournament, ensuring that they apply pressure to the South Americans and intercepting their goals really well. However, the yellow and blue ladies pushed back, forcing Thubelihle Shamase into a committing a foul and earning her a yellow card within 9 minutes of the game.
Karabo Dlamini had a chance to redeem herself from missing the teams opening match with a set piece that went over the cross bar. Captain Sibulele Holweni put herself in the firing line shorty, when Brazilian forward Julia Beatriz went on a counter attack from the half way, forcing Holweni to take her down with a dangerous tackle that earned her a second yellow card of the tournament.
The half ended with a goalless draw, with a win for either team being enough to see them through with Japan, provided that Mexico was beaten by Japan in the other Group B match that was being played simultaneously.
Second half was off to a blazing start with 4 goals being put behind the net in 4 minutes. A Selecao broke the deadline from a poor defensive clearance right outside of the box by the Captain, who laid it on a golden platter for Julia Beatriz who scored a beautiful volley past Kay-dee Windvogel. Shortly, a direct red card was shown to Miche Minnies for a hand ball that caused a penalty inside the box, and striker Julia making no mistake finishing it and putting Brazil 2-0 up.
Bantwana managed to pull one back within minutes through Zithembiso Vilakazi who ensured SA return with their first goal of the tournament. Injury stricken Lonathemba Mhlongo was pulled out due to an injury putting the junior team down to 9 men, in which Brazil capitalised scored their third of the day.
Brazil further inflicted pain on Bantwana in the 59th minute of the half with their opponents going up 4-1, courtesy to Player of the match Maria Eduarda. SA booked another yellow card through Oratile Mokwena making 3 yellows for the Africans.
On the other side of the country Mexico and Japan finished the game 1-1, enough to see them both progress in Group B, with Brazil and South Africa booking a plane ticket back home.