Banyana Banyana arrive back home to heroes' welcome
Banyana Banyana returned home to a heroes' welcome at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday afternoon after qualifying for next year’s Fifa Women’s World Cup for the first time a few days ago.
Coach Desiree Ellis and her charges were greeted by a multitude of fans after ending years of heartache to qualify for the global showpiece to be held in France.
Several dignitaries were in attendance‚ including Sports Minister Tokozile Xasa‚ Minister of Women in the Presidency Bathabile Dlamini‚ Safa president Danny Jordaan among many others.
Banyana were beaten 4-3 on penalties by perennial nemesis Nigeria in the final of the African Women's Cup of Nations in Accra on Saturday.
And while that defeat was painful after coming so agonisingly close to finally winning a maiden continental title‚ the South Africans can take solace from earning a ticket to the World Cup.
They had already guaranteed qualification to the global tournament after beating Mail 2-0 in the semi-finals of the continental event.