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Brave Banyana miss out on 2015 World Cup spot
- Updated: October 26, 2014
The Banyana Banyana national women’s football side fell at the final hurdle in Namibia on Saturday night, missing out on a place at the 2015 FIFA women’s World Cup on Saturday evening.
They lost 1–0 to Ivory Coast in the third/fourth place play-offs of the African Women’s Championship.
This means that Banyana Banyana failed to join Nigeria and Cameroon as the third team to represent Africa in Canada next year.
A late goal by Guehai Ida, shattered the South African ladies’ hopes of competing at the world event.
Vera Pauw started with the same team that beat Algeria 5–1 in the last group match, and Thoko Mndaweni starting in goals ahead of Roxanne Barker.
Banyana Banyana knew the significance of the match as they took off in attack mode, putting Ivory Coast under pressure. The South Africans enjoyed most of the possession in the opening stanza.
Sanah Mollo’s shot inside the box went over the cross-bar before Amanda Dlamini forced the Ivorian keeper to parry her long range shot out for a corner in the opening five minutes of the game.
Nompumelelo Nyandenialso came close to opening the scoring in the 12th minute, but her shot from outside the box went over the cross-bar.
Banyana Banyana kept Ivory Coast in their own half for most part of the first half, with Makhabane, Mollo, Legobang Ramalepe and Dlamini all coming very close to getting goals in the opening 30 minutes. Their chances went just inches wide-off and over the poles.
Ivory Coast looked threatening on one occasion only, but Mndaweni made a comfortable save from a set piece shot taken by Akoffou Rita a couple of yards outside the box.
Banyana Banyana retaliated two minutes later, but Mollo’s header in front of goals went wide-off, while Van Wyk forced the Ivorian keeper to parry her on-target free kick out for a corner in the dying minutes of the half.
Ivory Coast second half substitution N’guessan Ange seemed to be a handful for the Banyana Banyana defence, keeping them busy in the opening minutes of the second half, forcing them to clear the ball out of danger in the 53rd minute.
Mndaweni made some great saves, denying Ivory Coast any chance of opening the scoring.
Banyana Banyana continued to try and get the vital goal. Refiloe Jane’s shot from outside the box went over the cross bar in the 78th minute.
It was indeed a game of two halves as Ivory Coast dominated most of the second half and Mndaweni kept the busier of the two keepers.
The West African team then scored the only goal of the match with six minutes of play remaining. Ida took a shot from close range after the ball bounced in the box from a corner kick.
Banyana Banyana still pushed for an equaliser with Portia Modise and Noko Matlou coming close in the dying minutes.
There was some consolation for Banyana when they were awarded the Fifa Fair Play Team of the Tournament award.