Banyana Banyana got their Cosafa Women’s Championship title defence to a perfect start with a hard-fought 2-0 victory against Angola in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.
The match was the first outing in months for the host nation, and this was apparent as the usually free-flowing football associated with the South Africans was only visible in glimpses.
Straightforward victory for Banyana Banyana
However, Banyana dominated proceedings throughout the 90 minutes, despite only breaking the deadlock six minutes from the break.
The breakthrough came through teenager, Lonathemba Mhlongo, who got on the end of some beautiful interplay in the midfield to poke home from close range.
Hildah Magaia could have made it 2-0 before the halftime whistle, but the Angola defence rallied well to snuff out any chance of another goal.
After the break, coach Desiree Ellis made a double change, taking off the goal-scorer, who was replaced by Karabo Dhlamini, while Nonhlanhla Mthandi came on for Mapula Kgoale.
That proved to be an inspired change, with Dhlamini making an immediate impact as she doubled the lead on the hour-mark.
The next half hour was not short of chances, but there was no one to extend the lead, but Banyana had enough control of the game to maintain the 2-0 gap.
South Africa’s next fixture is against neighbours, Eswatini on Thursday, 6 November. Kick-off is at 15:30 (SAST).
Cosafa Women’s Championship fixtures
|03-Nov||A||Eswatini vs Comoros||12h30||Wolfson Stadium|
|03-Nov||A||South Africa vs Angola||15h30||Wolfson Stadium|
|04-Nov||B||Zambia vs Lesotho||12h30||Wolfson Stadium|
|04-Nov||C||Zimbabwe vs Tanzania||15h30||Wolfson Stadium|
|06-Nov||A||Comoros vs Angola||12h30||Wolfson Stadium|
|06-Nov||A||Eswatini vs South Africa||15h30||Wolfson Stadium|
|07-Nov||C||Botswana vs Tanzania||12h30||Wolfson Stadium|
|07-Nov||B||Malawi vs Lesotho||15h30||Wolfson Stadium|
|09-Nov||C||Zimbabwe vs Botswana||12h30||Gelvandale Stadium|
|09-Nov||B||Zambia vs Malawi||12h30||Wolfson Stadium|
|09-Nov||A||Angola vs Eswatini||15h30||Gelvandale Stadium|
|09-Nov||A||South Africa vs Comoros||15h30||Wolfson Stadium|
|12-Nov||13||1st Grp B vs Best Runner-up||12h00||Wolfson Stadium|
|12-Nov||14||1st Grp A vs 1st Grp C||15h30||Wolfson Stadium|
|14-Nov||15||Winner M13 vs Winner M14||15h00||Wolfson Stadium|