18 June 2013
Banyana Banyana played to a tough 1-1 draw with Zimbabwe in a friendly international at Sinaba Stadium in Daveyton, east of Johannesburg on the weekend. After a back-and-forth struggle, coach Joseph Mkhonza was left to rue two misses right at the start of the match.
“The game was very tough, but I believe the girls put themselves under pressure when they missed two crucial opportunities in the opening five minutes of the game,” he told the South African Football Association (Safa) after the game. “Had we scored either of the two goals, it would have put us in a better position.”
Up and down
Summing up the contest, he added: “We didn’t play as a team in the first half and the Zimbabweans used that against us and managed to score shortly before halftime. We managed to get back into the game in the second half and equalised, but then we lost our shape again.”
Banyana Banyana skipper Janine van Wyk was awarded the Diski Queen (player of the match award). She said South Africa had been given a good workout by their northern neighbours.
“We knew that the game against Zimbabwe was not going to be easy. They always prove to be tough opponents against us. I must admit it was tough, but a very good game. We displayed better performance but luck was not on our side. But we should rectify those errors going forward.”
‘A lot of things we need to work on’
Van Wyk agreed with Mkhonza that Banyana lost shape during the match, saying: “There are a lot of things we need to work on, like our formation. We also need to be more organised as well as work on opportunities in front of goal as we missed two crucial goals. Had we capitalised on those, it would have been a different ball game altogether.”
Zimbabwe’s captain Felistas Muzogondi commented: “It was not an easy encounter against the South Africans, but it was a good exercise and served as preparation for upcoming tournaments that will lead us to World Cup qualification and help us raise our world rankings.”
Banyana dominated the early going at the Sinaba Stadium and looked as if they had taken the lead, but Noko Matlou was deemed to be offside and the goal was disallowed. Television replays showed the offside decision to be an incorrect one.
Amanda Dlamini got the ball on target three minutes later, but her lob was cleared off the line.
Zimbabwe took the lead five minutes from half-time through Rudo Neshamba. She netted with a glancing header from a long ball played in from the left.
It was almost 2-0 to the Zimbabweans early in the second half, but the woodwork came to Banyana’s rescue.
Amanda Dlamini then found an equaliser for South Africa before the hour-mark, scoring her 19th goal for the national team after being played in by Nothando Vilakazi.
Neshamba threatened to score a second goal for the Zimbabweans, but SA captain Van Wyk’s pressure forced Neshamba’s shot high over the goals.
Banyana Banyana upped their game and put Zimbabwe under pressure once more, but there was no reward for them.
Zimbabwe appeared to net a late winner, but the assistant referee pointed out an infringement to the referee and their efforts came to nought as the contest finished 1-1.
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