Banyana one hurdle away from completing Paris Olympics journey

Banyana Banyana are now two games away from qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games after beating Tanzania 1-0 in a second leg Third Round CAF Women’s Olympic qualifier at the Mbombela stadium in Mpumalanga on Tuesday night. 

The South African senior women’s team came into the tie with a strong aggregate score after beating the Tanzanians 3-0 away from home in the first leg in Dar es Salaam on Friday. But the Sasol-sponsored team knew that the job was not completed and worked hard to ensure that they kept the visitors at bay in Mbombela. It was a rusty start for the hosts, but they visibly grew in confidence as the game progressed with the vociferous crowd at Mbombela stadium cheering them on.

Despite a few chances created in the opening period, the two sides could not find a breakthrough and the match was still goalless at the halftime break. The elusive goal that the crowd had been waiting for finally came in the 57th minute when a Kholosa Biyana free kick found Thembi Kgatlana, who calmly slotted home the opener to give the Tanzanians a big mountain to climb.

The visitors displayed a great fighting spirit and tested Banyana Banyana goalkeeper Kaylin Swart a few times, but none of their chances materialized into the equalizer they so desperately sought. 

Nigeria’s Super Falcons in a two-legged match to be played between 1-9 April. The winner will be one of the two African nations to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Tuesday night’s second leg clash against Tanzania also served as a special tribute to Jermaine Seoposenwe, who became the 10th Banyana Banyana player to win 100 international caps.

South Africa (0)1 (Thembi Kgatlana 57’)

(Aggregate 4-0) Tanzania (0)0

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