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Gallant Bantwana hold Mexico to draw

Sphumelele Shamase of SA and Fatima Arellano of Mexico during their U-17 Women's World Cup on Tuesday. /Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Sphumelele Shamase of SA and Fatima Arellano of Mexico during their U-17 Women's World Cup on Tuesday. /Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

South African under-17 women's national team head coach Simphiwe Dludlu hailed her side's gallant performance as they held a menacing Mexico to a goalless draw in Group B of the Fifa U-17 World Cup opener at Estadio Domingo Burgueño Migue.

SA survived many scares as Mexico were either erratic in their shots or Bantwana defenders and goalkeeper Kay-Dee Windvogel put their bodies in the line of fire.

"I am pleased for my girls, watching them play was incredible. As the game continued they started to play better and defended better as a team," said Dludlu.

Chelsea Daniels and Serenity Warner were handed their first caps in the game and they put in a good shift despite the nerves.

"We had two debutants in the team, first time ever in national colours at such a big stage. I am happy with the performance and now we have to prepare for the next game," said the Bantwana coach.

After heavy rains throughout the night and early in the morning, the ever-changing weather in Maldonado struck again with heavy mist covering the pitch, which affected visibility.

"In the last 20 or 30 minutes it was difficult to see the ball with the heavy mist but nonetheless both teams did well without visible lighting," said Dludlu.

Bantwana next face Japan, who also played to a goalless draw against Brazil in the earlier game.

The match will be played tomorrow (7pm SA time).

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