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Two quick strikes see Banyana seal Cyprus victory
- Updated: March 12, 2013
Two goals in the space of five minutes saw Banyana Banyana notch their first victory at the Cyprus Cup on Monday.
The national women’s soccer side, who were part of Team South Africa at the London Olympics last year, beat Northern Ireland 2-1 at the Tasos Markou Stadium in Paralimni to end their Group C matches on a high after earlier┬á losses to South Korea and the Republic of Ireland.
After a slow start and a to be fair, almost dull, first half, it was the two second half substitutions made by coach Joseph Mkhonza that livened things up.
The two sides came into the match having neither scored nor registered a point in their opening two group encounters in the tournament but that was to change.
Shortly after resumption, Mkhonza brought in Gloria Thato and Robyn Moodaly to operate on the wings, and it was their superb work on the flanks that made the telling changes, resulting in the much-needed victory for the African silver medallists. Moodaly and Jermaine Seoposenwe, the two talented youngsters promoted from Basetsana, scored the two goals within a space of five minutes.
First, Thato linked well with Mgcoyi on the left wing and the tall striker controlled the ball with her right foot and whipped in a delightful cross which was brilliantly volleyed into the back of the net by Moodaly.
Shortly after the opener, Banyana got their second goal. Thato’s neat interchange with Nothando Vilakazi saw the latter cross from the left wing for Seoposenwe to easily slot the ball home at the near post to make it 2-0 for Banyana.
As was the case with their defeat to Republic of Ireland last Friday, Banyana Banyana again dominated the contest for most parts of the match and should have added a couple more goals had the outstanding destroyer Refiloe Jane and debutant Shiwe Nogwaya been more accurate in front of goal towards the end of the match.
“We may have won but it was not an easy outing. The substitutions made us change our system, which completely caught the opponents off guard. But overall, we are thrilled with the result and being able to finally find the target in Cyprus,” said Jane, Banyana Banyana’s vice-captain.
The central defensive pair of Lebogang Mabatle and Janine van Wyk defended with aplomb but despite their heroics, they could not prevent Northern Ireland’s Lynda Sheperd from scoring a consolation goal, the striker flicking the ball home from a free kick to make the final score 2-1.
South Africa will play Northern Ireland again on Wednesday morning to determine who will finish 11th and 12th places.