Back-from-injury central defender Amanda Sister scored in a crowded penalty area, to give Banyana Banyana a 1-1 draw with Cameroon in a friendly international match played at the Omnisport Stadium in Yaoundé, Cameroon on Monday, 22 October 2012.
The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana are based in Yaounde to acclimatise the players ahead of the hot conditions expected at the eight-nation CAF African Women championship 2012 in Equatorial Guinea from October 28 to November 11.
Tall Cameroonian striker Enganamouit Gaelle tested the Banyana Banyana defence with a chip over advancing goalkeeper Thoko Mndaweni as early as the 7th minute, but the Banyana Banyana gloves lady stretched and held on to the ball to stop a certain goal.
But Banyana Banyana were not as lucky second time around, when the same movement in the 27th minute saw Gaelle first to the ball ahead of van Wyk and a charging Mndaweni, to chip into the back of the Banyana Banyana net.
Banyana Banyana head coach Joseph Mkhonza tried out various options in the second half with CAF African Women Footballer of the Year 2009, striker Noko Matlou, being introduced into play at the expense of the speedy Jermaine Seoposenwe.
Bloemfontein Celtics Ladies (Sasol League Free State) striker Sanah Mollo came on for Durban Ladies (Sasol League KwaZulu Natal) goal-getter Silindile Ngubane and another Durban Ladies player, defender Charlotte Mshengu, made her Banyana Banyana debut, on for right-back Zamandosi Cele
SA were much more offensive after the substitutions were made and a period of extensive pressure on the Cameroonian final third, saw Sister stab the ball home in a packed home team penalty area with just two minutes of play left.
Sister, who missed the previous two matches against Zimbabwe due to a quadriceps injury, added much solidity to the visitors’ rear-guard, while in midfield Refiloe Jane, was involved in the majority of possession won which were turned into Banyana Banyana attacks.
Playing in front of a small crowd in the 20 000-seater Omnisport Stadium, Banyana Banyana looked more attacking after the substitutions were made in the second half with Matlou in particular, showing signs of her old self, which saw her score 55 goals in 78 outings.
Banyana Banyana will open their Group A campaign at the CAF African Women Championship 2012 against Equatorial Guinea in Malabo on October 28, before facing Senegal in the same city on October 31. The South Africans will then travel to Bata for their final group encounter with DR Congo on November 3.
The semi-finals will take place in either Malabo or Bata on November 7, with the 3rd/4th place playoff and the title decider both scheduled for Malabo on November 11.
“The match against Cameroon was just the type of physical encounter our players needed ahead of what should be a tough Group A fixture against hosts Equatorial Guinea at the CAF African Women Championship,” said Mkhonza afterwards.
“Safa and our team sponsor Sasol need to be thanked for their support of the Banyana squad and I know the players will give their all at the African tournament. We were not outclassed today against Cameroon. We were competitive, and know which areas of our play to work on ahead of the tournament in Equatorial Guinea. We had our chances against Cameroon just like they did, but were kept out by some superb goalkeeping.”