Banyana too casual for feisty Zimbabwe
BANYANA Banyana wrapped up their African Women's Championship preparations with a 1-1 draw against Zimbabwe at Sinaba Stadium yesterday.
This was Banyana's last match before departing for Equatorial Guinea, via Cameroon, for the continental showpiece that kicks off on October 28.
The more experienced Banyana have only themselves to blame for not getting a win yesterday as they clearly underestimated their Zimbabwean counterparts.
The South Africans, who are hoping to win gold in Equatorial Guinea to qualify for the Fifa Women's World Cup, were too casual in their approach. Zimbabwe were no pushovers this time round, unlike in their first friendly against Banyana where they were defeated 1-0 in Soweto on Saturday.
In the opening minutes, Zimbabwe tore South Africa's defence to pieces with Marjory Nyaumwe calling the shots in midfield. It came as no surprise when the visitors silenced the home crowd - mainly pupils from local schools - by taking the lead in the eighth minute.
Rudo Neshamba headed home a well-taken cross from captain Felistas Muzongondi that caught goalkeeper Andile Dlamini in slumberland. Zimbabwe almost doubled the score three minutes later but Rutendo Makore squandered a clear-cut chance when she shot wide with Dlamini at sea.
The hosts improved their performance in the second half after a tongue-lashing at interval by coach Joseph Mkhonza. Banyana were awarded a controversial penalty after Botswana referee Bolokanang Lekgowe adjudged Danai Bhobho to have fouled Sanah Mollo in the 51st minute.
Portia Modise, now Banyana's most capped player, failed to level the score. Prior to yesterday's game, Modise was the joint most capped Banyana player with Nompumelelo Nyandeni.
South Africa levelled matters in the 69th minute through new recruit Silindile Ngubane, playing her second match for Banyana.
lAlso see Page 30