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Basetsana beaten but score vital away goal
- Updated: October 25, 2015
Basetsana went down to Nigeria in their Under-20 World Cup qualifier on Saturday but the national women football side will be encouraged by the fact that they bring back a valuable away goal in the 2-1 defeat in Abuja.
The visitors held their own for 29 minutes against their much-fancied opponents until Chinwendu Veronica Ihezuo broke the deadlock in the 30th minute.
It was the hosts, nicknamed the Falconets, who asked all the questions earlier and were rewarded with that goal.
Nigeria could have increased their lead a short while later only for Uchenna Grace Kanu’s shot to hit the upright, roll across the goal line and bounce back into play, falling into the hands of South African goalkeeper Mapaseka Mpuru.
Basetsana did not have any clear cup chances in this stanza and on the stroke of half time, a tame-looking shot was deflected into the net for an own goal by Caryn van Reyneveld to give Nigeria u20 a 2-0 lead at the break.
In the second half, the hosts continued where they left off in the first half, and Basetsana were let off the hook in the 65th minute when the defence cleared off the line with Mpuru well beaten.
South Africa then suffered a double blow when Noma Sikweza was taken off injured and her replacement Amanda Mthandi did not finish the match due to an injury and Thato Letsoso took her place.
But Basetsana held their own in the second half with Mpuru the busier of the two goalkeepers.
South Africa left it late before scoring in the 90th minute after a Nigerian defender handled in the box.
And it was Gabriela Salgado, a young player who really caught the eye at the Region 5 Games in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe late last year, stepped up calmly to give Basetsana the much-needed away goal.
The second leg is scheduled for Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa on Saturday, 7 November.
The overall winner will qualify for the 2016 FIFA u20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea.
This is how the SA side lined up:
South Africa U20: Mapaseka Mpuru, Tiisetso Makhubela, Sinenhlanhla Shozi, Caryn van Ryneveld, Linda Motlhalo, Noma Sikweza, Mosili Makhoali, Amogelang Motau (captain), Gabriela Salgado, Bongeka Gamede
Subs: Amanda Mthandi, Thato Letsoso, Asa Rabalao, Zimasa Dekeda, Regirl Ngobeni, Puleng Moremi.