Festive Break for Banyana

Banyana Banyana have had a busy year with some stand out performances, which included a draw with World Champions Japan at the Olympics and a historic win over Nigeria at the African Women Championship in Equatorial Guinea, where Banyana Banyana reached the final.

Banyana Banyana will embark on a well-earned break over the festive season and return refreshed next year to prepare for the 12-nation Cyprus Women’s Cup tournament to be held in March 2013.

That’s the word from coach Joseph Mkhonza after he watched Banyana Banyana score a convincing 3-0 win over Botswana in their final game of the year at the Moruleng Stadium near Rustenburg on Monday, 10 December 2012.

“The match was the perfect platform to try out some of the newcomers to the Banyana Banyana team and Safa and Sasol need to be commended for the support shown to women’s football in a year which has seen the national team compete at the London Olympics and make the final of the CAF African Women Championship 2012 held in Equatorial Guinea last month,” said Mkhonza.

The Sasol-sponsored national senior women’s team were 2-0 at halftime, in a match staged to mark the North West Provincial Government’s campaign aimed at raising awareness during the 16 Days of Activism against Women and Child Abuse.

Tall Mamelodi Sundowns (Sasol League Gauteng) striker Andiswe Mgcoyi opened the scoring from a tight angle on the left hand side of the Botswana penalty area in the 11th minute. Mgcoyi’s club-mate, midfielder Refiloe Jane, celebrated her 17th national cap by scoring her first goal for Banyana Banyana, by way of a header from a corner-kick in the 22nd minute.

Second half substitute, striker Noko Matlou made her presence felt by scoring from close range 15 minutes into the second half.

Mkhonza used the match played in hot conditions to give as many players game time as possible with midfielders in Precious Matabologa and Maile Makola both earning their first international caps.

This was the first time that the Southern African neighbours had met since last year’s All-Africa Games qualifiers, which saw Botswana stun the South Africans 1-0 in Polokwane before Banyana Banyana crushed their opponents 4-0 on an artificial pitch in Gaborone to advance to the African showpiece held in Mozambique in September 2011.

The South Africans, without the services of captain Amanda Dlamini (who was given some time off) and Amanda Sister (family commitments) dominated all phases of the 90 minutes of play.

 

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