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Good draw for Banyana
- Updated: June 25, 2012
In a result that will give them a boost ahead of the Olympic Games in London later this year, Banyana Banyana held Africa’s top-ranked side Nigeria to a goal-less draw in an international friendly match played at the TeslimÔÇôBalogun Stadium in Lagos, Nigeria at the weekend.
The sides had shared a 1-all result in an international friendly encounter played at the Royal Bafokeng stadium near Rustenburg 20 days earlier.
The match was an action-packed affair with both sides rising to the occasion spurred on by the carnival atmosphere, including a brass band which played throughout the game.
The Nigerian suffered an early setback when their star goalkeeper Precious Dede was carried off the field after a clash with the South African strikers, and was replaced by Tochukwu Oluehi after five minutes of play.
In defence, the visitors absorbed much pressure, with Hallelujah Zebra Force (Sasol League Gauteng) central defender Lebogang Mabatle taking full advantage of her call up to the starting line up.
US-based goalkeeper Roxanne Barker performed admirably in goal for South Africa, with national team head coach Joseph Mkhonza giving most of his players a run.
Second half substitutes in midfielder Mary Ntsweng (for Nocawe Skiti), midfielder Leandra Smeda (for Gabisile Hlumbane), striker Noko Matlou (for Portia Modise) and forward Jermaine Seoposenwe (for Andisiwe Mgcoyi) and the attacking Sanah Mollo (for Zamandosi Cele), all showed eagerness against the Nigerians.
The wet artificial pitch caused problems for both teams early on in the match, but the home side had the better percentage of pass build ups, with the experienced Stella Mbachu a constant thorn in the visitor’s flesh in displaying her speed and passion vision.
Banyana Banyana left for home immediately after the match.