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Banyana through to third round of Paris Olympic qualifiers

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South Africa….(0)2 (Thembi Kgatlana 71’, 88’)

DR Congo …….(0) 

30 October 2023 – A brace from Thembi Kgatlana was enough to seal victory for Banyana Banyana as coach Desiree Ellis’ charges beat DR Congo at a wet and chilly Orlando Stadium on Monday afternoon.

The Sasol-sponsored South African senior national team came into this second leg encounter against the Congolese well aware that nothing but a victory would earn them a spot in the third round of the 2024 CAF Women’s Olympic Qualifiers. 

Despite numerous attempts in the first half, the home side could not capitalise on their possession and score the elusive opening goal. The two sides went to the haftime break deadlocked at 0-0, with tension in the air at Orlando Stadium.

Kgatlana finally found the precious opening goal in the 71st minute when she beat visiting goalkeeper Ngamita Tulaka Brigitte following an assist from rising sensation Nicole Michael.  

With a relentless and physical Congolese side continuing to look for an equaliser, the home side needed another goal to be safe and Kgatlana completed her brace in the 88th minute following another assist from Michael. 

Ellis said after the game that her side could have scored more goals during this absorbing contest, but she was happy with the victory. The 2-0 win will take the team to the third round where they will face the winner between Botswana and Tanzania. 

“We knew at home that we needed to take charge of the game, Andile Dlamini made a great save in the beginning that kept us in. They had one or two half chances but so did we,” said the coach. 

“We could have gone to the halftime break with a lead and we kept saying to the team, ‘keep the intensity up, keep the width up, and the gaps will come in between. Let’s move the ball around quicker,’ and that’s what we did in the second half.”

“We made sure that we did not concede, and this was also key. I said, if we don’t concede we will create chances, which we did.”

Football, 2023, womens, Banyana Banyana, Paris Olympic Games

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