Banyana qualify for the 2024 Wafcon tournament
Banyana Banyana will be able to defend the CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (Wafcon) in Morocco next year.
South Africa beat a stubborn Burkina Faso 2-nil in the second leg of the final round of qualifiers in Pretoria earlier on Monday. They won with a 3-1 aggregate after the two teams played to a 1-all draw last Thursday. This was also a testimonial game for long serving Banyana Banyana captain Janine Van Wyk.
This was Banyana Banyana’s most important match so far this year.
The team has already played 17 matches and this was their 18th match of the year. South Africa needed to win the home tie against Burkina Faso to ensure they go back to defend their CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations title next year.
The two teams played to a 1-all draw in Ivory Coast last Thursday in the first leg encounter.
Banyana Banyana forward Jermaine Seoposenwe was back in the starting 11 after missing the first leg a few days ago. This was also a farewell match for former captain Janine Van Wyk who was officially retiring from football. Van Wyk was playing her 185th game after a career that lasted for 18 years.
The 36-year-old Van Wyk has now become the footballer with the most national team appearances on the continent, surpassing the long-term record held by Ahmed Hassan of Egypt.
Van Wyk was included in the starting line-up and captained the side until she was replaced by Lebohang Ramalepe in the 8th minute of the match.
The homeside wanted to score an early goal to settle their nerves, but Banyana Banyana keeper Kylan Swart who started ahead of Andile Dlamini made a brilliant save in the 24th minute to deny the visitors.
Banyana Banyana’s Hildah Magaia also had a goal attempt eight minutes before the break. The best scoring moment for the home side went to Thembi Kgatlana on the stroke of half-time.
There were no goals at the break, despite Banyana enjoying more than 70 percent of ball possession. The Burkinabe keeper kept her team in the game with some crucial saves. The home side were awarded a penalty nine minutes after restart after a hand ball in the danger area.
Forward Linda Motlhalo stepped up to put Banyana Banyana in the lead. Kgatlana was denied by the opposition keeper once again.
Nicole Michael fluffed another opportunity to increase South Africa’s lead. Swart justified her inclusion in the starting line-up with another brilliant save nine minutes from time.
Michael sealed the game for South Africa four minutes from time with her first goal for Banyana Banyana.