BANGKOK - Team South Africa women's soccer side finally tasted victory at the 24th World Student Games yesterday when they registered a 3-2 win over Chinese Taipei at the Thammasat Sports Centre.
The rare win - the first after four opening matches of the 16-nation tournament - has also guaranteed the Jerry Laka-guided team a place in the 2009 World Student Games in Belgrade, Serbia.
South Africa lost all their three group matches. This was after they were defeated 3-1 by Canada, and went on to lose 2-0 and 6-2 to China and debutantes Great Britain, respectively.
"We should have scored no less than seven goals. I was impressed with the level of commitment by the entire team this time round," said Laka, sporting a clean-shaven head.
"I just thought one should visit the barber shop after we lost the three opening matches. Maybe one should just be like this forever, as long as I'm still involved in soccer as a coach."
South Africa will play the winners of the game between the host nation Thailand and Japan today for positions nine to 11 on the rankings of the tournament. The two Asian countries were scheduled to play last night.
Yesterday was a day of mixed fortunes for South Africa as the men's basketball team went down 90-58 to Brazil, but team manager Frans Mamabolo is hoping for a win against Chinese Taipei today.
In volleyball, the winless South African women's side face Mexico today.