28 February 2020 – The South Africa U-17 Women’s National Team (Bantwana) went down 2-0 to Zambia in the 1st leg of the FIFA U-17 World Cup qualifier, in Lusaka this afternoon after Zambia scored two goals in the first half.

Dorica Malunga benefited from an error in South Africa’s defence in the 19th minute, while Ester Banda chipped the ball over the goalkeeper in the 43rd minute.

Bantwana gave Zambia all the space to play in the first half and were beaten by speed, as the Zambian players won all the first balls. They came back onto the field in the second half as the better side however; failed to convert their chances.

Head Coach Simphiwe Dludlu believes that this is a learning curve and will be looking to get a win when the two sides go head to head in the 2nd leg to be played on 14 March 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

“We anticipated a tough match; playing Zambia is never an easy challenge. We had a bad first half and it was evident that the players were a bit nervous playing in front of the noisy supporters of Chipolopolo,” said Dludlu.

“We have a lot of work to do when we get back home as we believe that all is not lost. We will be beefing up our squad and of course working on areas that we lacked in today,” concluded Dludlu.

South African starting XI: Rosalie James (GK); Yolanda Nduli; Hlela Philisani; Nkateko Nkhuna; Shakira O’Malley; Nabeelah Galant (Thimna Mpehle 57’); Tiyana Carollessen (Tiffany Kortjie 78’); Nelly Gamede; Sonika Mzingeli; Jessica Wade (C); Oyisa Marhazi (Kananelo Taiwe 63’)

South African substitutes: Zubenathi Livi (GK); Mihle Lumko; Thimna Mpehle; Nthabiseng Majiya; Tiffany Kortjie; Aliyaa Allie; Lithemba Sam Sam; Cimone Sauls; Kananelo Taiwe.

Zambian starting XI: Inghutu Muchahabali (GK); Ester Siamfuko; Edah Lunga; Dorica Malunga; Martha Kitila Banda; Precious Nsama; Florence Kasonde; Ester Banda; Maweta Glory Chilenga; Josphine Phiri; Grace Sakala

Zambian substitutes: Chiteta Munsaka (GK); Patricia Mumba; Shelly Masumo; Margaret Chisenga; Marian Nyirenda; Niza Njobvu; Pauline Zulu; Tefeoga Munene

Match Officials: Thanks Nyahuye (Referee); Stellah Ruvinga (1st Assistant Referee); Faith Mloyi (2nd Assistant Referee); Chipo Mayimbo Mercy (4th Official); Hawa Buzwani Maseko (Match Commissioner)