Banyana held to draw by Zimbabwe

17 October 2012

Striker Silindile Ngubane netted her first goal in just her second outing for Banyana Banyana as they played to a 1-1 draw with Zimbabwe in an international friendly at Sinaba Stadium in Daveyton near Johannesburg on Tuesday.

On Saturday, South Africa had beaten the Zimbabwe 1-0 in a friendly played at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto. Coach Joseph Mkhonza’s charges are preparing for the Confederation of African Football’s African Women’s Championship, which kicks off in Equatorial Guinea on 28 October and runs through to 11 November.

Speaking after the match, Mkhonza commented: “The two international friendly fixtures against Zimbabwe over the past week were crucial as far as giving our ladies game time ahead of the CAF African Women Championship 2012 is concerned.

Focus on tactics

“After a two-month break following our participation at the London Olympics, we returned to camp to work hard on the fitness levels of the players, and now will put more focus on the tactical side of play in the lead in to the African tournament.”

In Tuesday’s clash, Zimbabwe were a far tougher proposition than they had been in the weekend’s match and Banyana lacked an edge, which the Zimbabweans exploited.

They dominated from the kick off and it came as no surprise when the Zimbabweans opened the scoring.

Stunned into silence

The home supporters were stunned into silence after only 12 minutes when Rudo Neshamba struck for the visitors, taking advantage of some poor defensive work by the home side, to head home past Banyana Banyana goalkeeper Thoko Mndaweni from a cross by Zimbabwe captain Felistas Muzongondi.

Eight minutes later, Banyana Banyana vice-captain and central defender Janine van Wyk came close to equalising, but her long range shot from a free kick shot was tipped over the cross bar by Zimbabwean goalkeeper Chido Dzingirai.

South Africa were well below par and it took a dressing-down by coach Mkhonza at half time to lift the players out of their lethargy.

Missed penalty

They should have drawn level early in the second half, but Portia Modise hit a penalty straight at Dzingirai after Sanah Mollo had been fouled in the penalty box.

With 20 minutes to go, however, Ngubane, on as a second half substitute, headed an equaliser off a cross from Nothando Vilakazi, who won the Sasol Disk Queen (Player of the Match) Award for her efforts at left back.

Zimbabwe almost stole a late victory, but Mndaweni, in the South African goal, pulled off a point blank save to deny Rutendo Makore.

SAinfo reporter

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