Thembi Kgatlana: “We Gave It Our All, and That’s What Matters”

Banyana Banyana’s international forward Thembi Kgatlana believes the senior national women’s football team is a force to be reckoned with after making history as the first South African national football team, male or female, to progress to the Round of 16 at a FIFA tournament. 

In an interview on, the 27-year-old reflected on the team’s performance against a formidable Netherlands side in the Round of 16, where they were edged out of the competition after a 2-0 loss. 

“I am very proud of myself and the rest of the team for how we played. We didn’t make it to the quarter-finals, but it’s exciting to have made it this far. We knew it was going to be a tough match but we gave it our all, and that’s what matters.

“We had to make them show their best against us. We had a quick turnover from the last game and we had some injuries. The performance we gave today (Sunday) from the resources we had…you have to give kudos to the team.”

Speaking on Banyana Banyana continuing to break down barriers and enter into the country’s history books, Kgatlana reveals: “I think we have proven over and over again [we are a strong side].

“We have qualified for back-to-back Women’s World Cups, we won the Africa Cup of Nations and it feels like we are improving more and more.”

Kgatlana also shared her gratitude to all the supporters: “We really appreciate everyone who supported us here and back at home. So many South Africans have supported us in Sydney and in New Zealand during the group games. For us, it was something amazing, because it felt like a home away from home.”

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