Banyana Banyana stunned the European giants to make it to the knockout round of the Mundial for the first time
South Africa’s Banyana Banyana have secured their first-ever win at the FIFA Women’s World Cup with a thrilling 3-2 win over Italy in their final Group G game, Soccernet.ng reports.
After losing their opening match 2-1 against Sweden to make it four straight losses at the Mundial, South Africa drew 2-2 with Argentina to claim their first-ever point in the tournament history.
They should have won that game, though, having led the South Americans two-nil into the last quarter of the encounter.
Still, the African champions needed to win their last group match against Italy to qualify for the knockout round.
And win they did, as star forward Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana netted a 92nd-minute winner to stun the Italians at the Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington.
How it happened
Arianna Caruso gave Italy the lead in the 11th minute from the penalty spot. But Benedetta Orsi’s own goal just past the half-hour mark handed South Africa a much-needed equaliser.
Hildah Magaia and Kgatlana combined for the former to give Banyana Banyana the lead. Still, Caruso struck again to bring the game back to levelled terms midway through the second half.
Magaia then turned provider for Kgatlana to net the historic late winner for the girls from Mandela-land.
South Africa join Nigeria in the knockout rounds
With the win, South Africa join Nigeria’s Super Falcons in the Round of 16 at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
It is the first time in the competition’s history that two African teams will make it past the group stages.
Nigeria had earlier booked their place in the last 16 after finishing as runners-up in Group B behind Australia.
The Super Falcons claimed two goalless draws with Olympic champions Canada and Ireland and defeated Australia 3-2 to pick up five points. It is the first time an African side will remain unbeaten during the group stage of the Women’s World Cup.
Nigeria will play Group D winners England in the Round of 16 on August 7.
A day before that, Group G runners-up South Africa will trade tackles with Group E winners, the Netherlands.