Banyana Banyana suffered a 3-1 defeat against Spain in their first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup clash on Saturday evening.
Debutants Banyana re-called captain Janine Van Wyk to the side, while Atletico Madrid star Jennifer Hermoso lined-up in attack for the Spaniards.
The Spaniards enjoyed most of the ball in the early stages of the encounter, but Banyana were drilled defensively to deny their opponents any sniff at goal in the 18-yard area.
With 25 minutes gone, the South Africans stunned Spain with a top-drawer finish from Thembi Kgatlana, who has now netted Banyana’s first-ever World Cup goal.
Spain struggled to draw up a response but threatened in added time when Marta Corredera struck the post with Dlamini collecting the rebound.
Changes from the Spaniards took off at the restart, with Lurcia Garcia and Aitana Bonmati introduced.
Pressure intensified for Banyana on 48 minutes, as Garcia rattled the crossbar from the edge of the area with Hermoso unable to bury the rebound.
Banyana hauled in their first substitution 52 minutes in through Busisiwe Ndimeni who replaced Linda Motlhalo.
Spain was given a lifeline on 68 minutes after Van Wyk handled in the area to concede penalty that Hermoso converted with ease for the leveller.
Banyana’s misery worsened on 82 minutes when Nothando Vilakazi saw red while giving a second penalty, Hermoso tucked away for her brace.
Spain confirmed victory in the final minute when Garcia rounded Dlamini to slot into an empty net, with Banyana thoroughly outplayed.
Spain: Panos, Paredes, Losada, Corredera, Torrejon, Cadentey, Hermoso, Putellas, Torrecilla, Leon, Sampedro.
Banyana: Dlamini, Ramalepe, Vilakazi, Van Wyk, Matlou, Mthandi, Biyana, Jane, Motlhalo, Kgatlana, Fulutudilu.
Subs: Mpuru (GK), Mbane, Dhlamini, Seoposenwe, Makhubela, Gamede, Ndimeni, Mulaudzi, Holweni, Makhabane, Smeda, Swart (GK).
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Source – Kickoff