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Banyana a step closer to Paris

todayFebruary 28, 2024 24

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Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa celebrates goal during 2024 Olympics Qualifier 2nd Leg match between South Africa and Tanzania at Mbombela Stadium in Mbombela on the 27 February 2024 © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Banyana Banyana are now two matches away from qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games after beating Tanzania 1-0 in their second leg Third Round CAF Women’s Olympic qualifier at the Mbombela stadium in Mpumalanga on Tuesday night.

South Africa went into the tie with a strong aggregate score after beating the Tanzanians 3-0 away from home in the first leg in Dar es Salaam on Friday. However, coach Desiree Ellis’ charges were well aware that the job was not completed and worked hard to ensure that they kept the visitors at bay in Mbombela.

It was a patchy start for the hosts, but they visibly grew in confidence as the game progressed with the vociferous crowd inside the Mbombela stadium cheering them on.

Despite a few chances created in the opening period, the two sides could not find a breakthrough and the match was still goalless at the halftime break.

The elusive goal that the crowd had been waiting for finally came in the 57th minute when a Kholosa Biyana free kick found Thembi Kgatlana, who calmly slotted home the opener to give the Tanzanians a big mountain to climb.

Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa celebrates goal during 2024 Olympics Qualifier 2nd Leg match between South Africa and Tanzania at Mbombela Stadium in Mbombela on the 27 February 2024 © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

The visitors displayed a great fighting spirit and tested Banyana Banyana goalkeeper, Kaylin Swart, a few times. But none of their chances materialised into the equaliser they so desperately sought.

Ellis’ charges created numerous chances but despite their efforts, they could not find the second goal that the fans in the stands were calling out for.

The next hurdle for Banyana will be Nigeria’s Super Falcons in a two-legged match to be played between 1-9 April. The winner will be one of the two African nations to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Tuesday night’s second leg clash against Tanzania also served as a special tribute to Jermaine Seoposenwe, who became the 10th Banyana Banyana player to win 100 international caps.

Jermaine Seoposenwe of South Africa celebrates 100th Cap during 2024 Olympics Qualifier 2nd Leg match between South Africa and Tanzania at Mbombela Stadium in Mbombela on the 27 February 2024 © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Written by: Ntsako Mukhari

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