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Shiwe’s score keeps Banyana’s World Cup hopes alive
- Updated: October 16, 2014
Banyana Banyana got their first point of the African Women’s Championship match in Windhoek, Namibia on Wednesday night, playing to a 1-1 draw against Ghana in their second Group B match.
Coach Vera Pauw made only one change to the team that narrowly lost 1-0 to Cameroon in the first match on Sunday. Nompumelelo Nyandeni, who registered her 100th cap in national team colours, started ahead of Refiloe Jane in the middle of the park.
Nyandeni certainly rose to the occasion in her milestone match, putting on an amazing performance and being voted the Player of the match.
Banyana Banyana started off in determined fashion, knowing the importance of collecting maximum points. They looked dangerous with veteran striker Portia Modise and Shiwe Nogwanya threatening upfront.
At the back captain Janine Van Wyk marshalled the defence with authority, making some great tackles and kicking the ball out of danger on more than one occasion in the opening 15 minutes.
With Modise and Nogwanya not allowing the Black Stars of Ghana defenders to bully them, Banyana Banyana got the opening goal in the 18th minute. Nogwanya capitalised as the Ghana keeper spillt the ball in the box from Mamello Makhabane’s set-piece shot.
Nogwanya made no mistake as she stuck out a leg, to guide the ball home and put the hard-running Banyana Banyana in the lead.
The South Africans showed great fighting spirit as they continued to push forward with urgency to get the second goal. Makhabane came close to doubling the lead in the 31st minute with a shot from just outside the box, but the Ghana keeper was alert and parried the ball out of danger.
Ghana levelled the score in first-half optional time, after Elizabeth Cudjoe connected well with a cross from their captain Leticia Zikpi in the box, slotting one past Roxanne Barker.
The tempo in the second half seemed to have slowed down a bit as both teams pushed for the elusive winner.
Banyana showed some excellent touches on the ball but were often guilty of mis-directing the final pass and giving away possession needlessly.
There were also some chances on goal not taken by Banyana where it seemed almost easier to score than to miss.
South Africa will now face Algeria in their last group match on Saturday (5pm), a match where anything less than victory will see them eliminated from a place at next year’s World Cup in Canada.