12 March 2013
A fast start to the second half gave South Africa’s women’s football team, Banyana Banyana, their first victory at the 2013 Cyprus Cup, a 2-1 win over Northern Ireland at the Tasos Markou Stadium in Paralimni on Monday afternoon.
Both two sides came into the match having not scored nor registered a point in their opening two Group C encounters, but that changed in the second half.
After a slow and rather dull first half, it was the two second-half substitutions made by coach Joseph Mkhonza that livened things up.
Shortly after the resumption, Mkhonza brought on Gloria Thato and Robyn Moodaly to operate on the wings, and it was their superb work on the flanks that made the telling changes, resulting in strikers Jermaine Seoposenwe and Andisiwe Mgcoyi manufacturing the much-needed victory for the African Women’s Championship silver medallists.
Moodaly and Seoposenwe, the two talented youngsters promoted from Basetsana, the national under-20 team, scored the two goals within a space of five minutes.
First, Thato linked well with Mgcoyi on the left wing where the tall striker controlled the ball with her right foot before whipping in a delightful cross which was brilliantly volleyed into the back of the net by Moodaly.
Shortly after that opener, Banyana got their second goal. Thato’s neat interchange with Nothando Vilakazi saw the latter cross from the left wing for Seoposenwe to easily slot the ball home at the near post to make it 2-0 to South Africa.
As was the case with their defeat to Republic of Ireland on Friday, Banyana Banyana again dominated the contest and should have added a couple more goals had the outstanding midfielder Refiloe Jane and debutant Shiwe Nogwaya been more accurate in front of goals towards the end of the match.
“We may have won but, it was not an easy outing,” said Banyana Banyana vice-captain Jane after the match.
“The substitutions made us change our system, which completely caught the opponents off guard, but overall we are thrilled with the result and being able to finally find the target in Cyprus.”
The central defensive pair of Lebogang Mabatle and Janine van Wyk defended with aplomb, but despite their heroics they could not prevent Northern Ireland striker Lynda Sheperd from scoring a consolation goal with a flick on from a free kick, which made the final score 2-1.
Banyana will play Northern Ireland again on Wednesday in the playoffs.
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