Banyana take heart | SASCOC - SASCOC

Banyana take heart

Already bound for the Olympic Games in London later this year Banyana Banyana’s second half performance gave much hope to the players, despite going down 3-2 to 2010 World Military Games champions Selecao do Marinha in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Sunday.

The hosts led 3-1 at half-time.

Head coach of Banyana Banyana Joseph Mkhonza made eight changes to the starting line up from side that beat Cepe Caxias 1-0 on Tuesday in order to give all of the travelling players game time on the trip.

Midfielder Nomathemba Ntsibande scored for the visitors in the 35th minute after playing a superb one-two pass movement with striker Zanele Sukazi. Second half substitute Gabisile Hlumbane scored her first goal for the women’s national team when she finished off a cross from the right-hand side in the 78th minute.

The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana side looked a much more competitive outfit in the second half when the coach introduced captain and midfielder Amanda Dlamini, midfielders Memory Makhanya and Nocawe Skiti and tall striker Andiswe Mgcoyi.

The South Africans could have shared the result had striker Noko Matlou found the back of the net from the penalty spot early in the second half.

The Banyana Banyana vice-captain was brought down in the penalty area. From the spot-kick she saw her effort saved by the goalkeeper, while the second chance from the rebound hit the cross bar before the ball was cleared to safety.

ÔÇ£We are not happy with the loss, and in fact we could have at the very least shared the spoils, we had enough scoring opportunities to have won the match. But the exercise was important in allowing us to try out strategic combinations on this South American tour. I am happy with the performance of the girls who are improving with every match. These are the kind of challenges we need so we can rectify our mistakes long before we get to London,ÔÇØ said Mkhonza.

Banyana Banyana will play their final match of their South American tour on Wednesday, against Brazilian club side Vasco da Gama, before flying to Europe the next day to compete in the 12-nation Cyprus Women’s Cup.