6 March 2019 – Banyana Banyana finished in 10th position at the 2019 Cyprus Women’s Cup after losing 3-0 to Finland on Wednesday, 6 March at the Tassos Markos Stadium in Paralimni, Cyprus.
One goal in the first half and two in the second stanza were enough to see the Europeans to victory – this was the second meeting between the two sides, with the first tie ending in a 2-2 draw in Larnaca last week (27 February).
The match also marked defender Noko Matlou’s 150th cap and she was given the honour to lead the squad with the armband, as captain for the day Janine van Wyk was rested.
Matlou was one of the six changes made by head coach Desiree Ellis for this last match of the tournament.
The others who came in was Kaylin Swart (Andile Dlamini), Nothando Vilakazi (Leandra Smeda), Molatelo Sebata (Refiloe Jane), Busisiwe Ndimeni (Linda Motlhalo) and Karabo Dhlamini (Rhoda Mulaudzi).
Matlou is the second highest capped player in the country after captain Janine van Wyk, who is on 164 caps.
She made her Banyana Banyana debut in 2007 and has scored 64 goals.
With this being their second meeting in a week, South Africa and Finland seemed to know each other well as the match was evenly contested for a long time until the Europeans took the lead in the 31st minute from Katarina Naumanen’s header after Banyana Banyana failed to defence a corner kick.
Banyana Banyana could have equalised in the three minutes later when Karabo Dhlamini broke free on the left, went past her marker but shot straight to the Finland goalkeeper.
At the start of the second half, Finland made four changes at once while Banyana Banyana retained the same team.
Just five minutes into the stanza Banyana Banyana found themselves two goals down after goalkeeper Kaylin Swart made an error to pass an opponent whose long range shot from Iina Salma went in to make it 2-0.
Four minutes later Dhlamini brought out a brilliant save from the Finland goalkeeper with a well-taken shot after a cross from Molatelo Sebata.
Sensing danger, Ellis took off Sebata and brought on the fresh legs of Linda Motlhalo, while Kgatlana came in for Karabo.
But it was Finland who got their third goal just two minutes before the final whistle with a long range strike from Olga Ahtinenthat Swart could only tip with her fingers into the net to make it 3-0.
Nompumelelo Nyandeni, who made was playing in her 149th match, was then introduced for Biyana but it was too little too late for South Africa.
This was their third loss in a row, and finish in position 10th, compared to 6th from last year.
Banyana Banyana drew the first match 2-2 against Finland, lost to Korea DPR (4-1), the Czech Republic (2-1) and Finland (3-0).
They managed to score three goals and conceded 11 goals in four matches.
The squad departs Cyprus on Thursday, 7 March and is expected to land in South Africa the next day (Friday, 8 March) at 11h00.
They continue with their 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup preparations when they face Jamaica next month (7 April) in Durban, in what is also their farewell match on home soil.
This is how they lined up:
South Africa vs Finland (6 March 2019 – Cyprus)
Kaylin Swart (GK), Lebohang Ramalepe, Nothando Vilakazi, Bambanani Mbane, Noko Matlou(c), Busisiwe Ndimeni, Karabo Dhlamini,Molatelo Sebata, Mamello Makhabane, Kholosa Biyana, Amanda Mthandi
Andile Dlamini (GK), Victoria Muroa (GK), Janine van Wyk,Leandra Smeda, Tiisetso Makhubela, Linda Motlhalo, Rhoda Mulaudzi, Jermaine Seoposenwe, Refiloe Jane, Thembi Kgatlana, Nompumelelo Nyandeni
Not in Match-Day squad:
Koketso Tlailane, Rhoda Mulaudzi, Refiloe Jane (injured)
Coach: Desiree Ellis
Anna Tamminen (GK), Elli Pikkujämsä, Anna Auvinen, Juliette Kemppi, Iina Salmi, Nora Heroum, Jenny Danielsson, Saara Lappalainen, Eveliina Summanen, Katerina Naumanen, (c), Heidi Kollanen,
Emma Koivisto, Adelina Engman, Julia Tunturi, Natalia Kuikka, Anna Westerlund, Linda Sällström, Paula Myllyoja (GK), Tinja-Riikka Korpela (GK), Tuija Hyyrynen, Ria Öling, Olga Ahtinen, Sanni Franssi, Kaisa Collin
Coach: Anna Signeul