Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana celebrated the International Women’s Day with an easy 3-0 victory over Lesotho.
The international friendly match was played at a packed Tsakane Stadium on Sunday, 8 March 2020.
Two goals from Rhoda Mulaudzi in the first half, and another one from second half substitute Sibulele Holweni, were enough to hand the home side victory.
Mulaudzi first struck in the 6th minute and completed her brace in referee’s optional time, before Holweni added the third 11 minutes from time – it was her first goal in Banyana Banyana colours.
Banyana Banyana managed the win despite the absence of regulars like Janine van Wyk, Jermaine Seoposenwe, Leandra Smeda, Nothando Vilakazi, Refiloe Jane and Noko Matlou who were not considered for this match which head coach Desiree Ellis used to extend her pool of players. She handed a new cap to Nonhlanhla Mthandi of Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies.
“I am happy that we got to get a positive result without the many regulars who were not here.” – Banyana Banyana head coach, Desiree Ellis
“It was not a spectable, but they players did what they had to do to get a win. I am happy that we got to get a positive result without the many regulars who were not here. At the end of the day, I believe it was a worthwhile exercise – although you cannot judge on just one match, we now have an idea of what we have in our pool, and if a need comes, we know where to replenish or strengthen,” said Ellis.
This was South Africa’s first game of the year, which saw goalkeeper Andile Dlamini play in her 50th cap for country.
“I still can’t believe it, I am still a bit emotional that it has been such a long journey and this is but just another step to many more. This was a very special day for me, 50th cap on International Women’s Day and a clean sheet – what more can I ask for?” said a beaming Dlamini.
“I have a huge respect and am inspired by all those players who have reached this point and gone beyond because I now know it was not easy – they had to work to get here. I would like to thank all my coaches, my family and teammates for all the support, and want to add that those coming after me must not give up even when they feel it is tough, as it will be.”
Lebogang Ramelepe also captained the squad for the first time ever.
“In the beginning I was a bit nervous but after a while I settled down and started enjoying my game. What pleases me more is that in my first game as captain we end up on the winning side, and that is a lovely feeling. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to lead my country and would like to thank everyone for the support,” said Ramalepe.
Ellis made several changes to introduce fresh legs – Holweni, Noxolo Cesane, Karabo Dhlamini and Ongeziwe Ndlangisa for Amanda Mthandi, Nonhlanhla Mthandi, Robyn Moodaly and Mamello Makhabane respectively.
Banyana Banyana Starting XI:
Andile Dlamini (GK – 50th cap)
Lebohang Ramalepe (c)
Photo 1 Caption: Banyana Banyana beat Lesotho 3-0 in an international friendly at Tsakane Stadium on Sunday, 8 March 2020. Photo: SAFA
With editing by gsport