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Banyana Games-bound

Banyana Banyana claimed a 1-1 draw against Ethopia in Addis Ababa on Sunday, which makes them the first South African women’s soccer team to qualify for the Olympics.

With striker Noko Matlou’s hat-trick at Orlando Stadium in August giving South Africa a 3-0 advantage heading into the second leg of the 2012 London Games qualifier, the stalemate at the Addis Ababa National Stadium was enough to secure Olympic qualification.

Banyana Banyana were first to score as Russian-based midfielder Nompumelelo Nyandeni struck early in the second half. Ethopia managed to hit back via a freekick later in the match, but the three-goal first leg deficit was always going to be difficult to overcome for the hosts. After the final whistle, South Africa won the qualifier with a 4-1 overall aggregate.

South Africa have never qualified for the Olympics since women’s football was added to the schedule in 1996. Banyana Banyana are the eighth women’s team to secure their London Games spots as Great Britain, Japan, North Korea, Brazil, Colombia, France and Sweden have already qualified.


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