11 August 2014
In South African captain Janine van Wyk’s 100th international, Banyana Banyana defeated Namibia 2-0 at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto on Sunday.
South Africa had recorded another win over Namibia early in July, triumphing 2-1 in Namibia.
On Sunday, Banyana Banyana took the lead through Amanda Dlamini, who intercepted a pass just outside the visitors’ box before beating the goalkeeper to make it 1-0 after only three minutes.
South Africa enjoyed most of the ball possession in the first half and came close to doubling their lead in the 39th minute when a shot from Nothando Vilakazi struck the crossbar.
After the break, the contest slowed down, but Banyana found a second goal through Leandra Smeda, who was played in by Portia Modise after Modise had beaten the goalkeeper before finding Smeda unmarked inside the box.
Coach Vera Pauw’s charges pushed hard to extend their lead, but were unable to add any more goals.
The match was notable for being the milestone 100th international for defender and captain Janine van Wyk. She trails only Portia Modise, who has turned out for Sasol Banyana 110 times.
“It absolutely is a phenomenal feeling,” Van Wyk said before the game.
“I really am astonished that I have reached this milestone in my career. I have always dreamed of playing for the national team and here I am reaching 100 caps.”
Nicknamed “Booth”, Van Wyk made her debut for Banyana Banyana in the African Women’s Championship against Nigeria in 2005. She said it had not been an easy journey to her milestone 100th appearance for her country.
“If it wasn’t for my family who supported me along the way I would not be here,” she explained. “I have had some tough experiences in the team, coming in and having to deal with different cultures.”
Van Wyk then praised her team-mates for making her feel welcome in the side and for the respect they have showed her.
Most memorable moment
She said her most memorable moment in the green and gold strip was when Sasol Banyana recorded their first-ever win over Nigeria in the semi-finals of the 2012 African Women’s Championship, with Van Wyk scoring the only goal in South Africa’s 1-0 win.
“Janine has played a vital role in the team set-up. She carries great leadership qualities as the captain. On behalf of Sasol, we congratulate her on reaching this milestone,” said Sasol Sponsorship Specialist Dumisani Mbokane.
Banyana Banyana are preparing for the African Women’s Championship, which takes place in Namibia from 11 to 25 October. They have been seeded in a group that includes Cameroon, Ghana and Algeria.