Costa Rica …..0(0)
South Africa….1(2) (Thembi Kgatlana 32’, Hildah Magaia 55’)
15 July 2023 – The South African senior women’s team got the confidence booster they wanted ahead of the start of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup when they beat Costa Rica in a friendly international on Saturday (15 July 2023).
Coach Desiree Ellis’ chargers displayed determination from the first whistle and created several scoring opportunities, but none materialised into a goal.
But their dominance started to tell and good ball work from midfielder Kholosa Biyana set up Thembi Kgatlana to score Banyana’s first goal in the 33rd minute. This was Kgatlana’s first game for Banyana since she was ruled out of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) in Morocco in July 2022 after sustaining a ruptured Achilles in a Group C match against Botswana.
The African champions went to the halftime break with an advantage.
The Central Americans did not create many threatening opportunities and when they did manage to get into dangerous spaces, goalkeeper Kaylin Swart did well to deny them.
Hildah Magaia’s brilliant free-kick just outside the box in the 55th minute was enough to double the lead and seal the victory for Banyana Banyana.
Speaking on her return, Kgatlana told www.safa.net that she was happy with how she connected with her teammates after a long layoff.
“It was amazing to score, especially after a year (through injury). It felt great to have also played more than 70 minutes and as a striker,I want to score. This is something I have been practicing with my club Racing Louisville.
“It was also amazing to see how I connected with my teammates after coming back from the injury.”
This was the final friendly game for Banyana Banyana before facing Sweden in their World Cup opener on 23 July 2023.
Banyana Banyana Starting lineup against Costa Rica:
Swart, Gamede, Mbane, Magama,Holweni, Biyana, Jane ©,Motlhalo, Magaia, Seoposenwe, Kgatlana
Subs: Dlamini, Moletsane, Kgoale, Salgado, Cesane, Matlou, Kgadiete, Makhubela, Moodaly, Shongwe.