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South Africa Suffer Defeat In Women’s World Cup Opener Against Spain

South Africa were beaten 3-1 by Sweden in their first group game of 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup played on Saturday at Stade Oceana in Le Harve, France.

South Africa were beaten 3-1 by Spain in their first group game of 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup played on Saturday at Stade Oceana in Le Harve, France.

The Banyana Banyana went ahead in the 25th minute when Thembi Kgatlana scored with a real blinder, unleashing a rocket of a shot from nearly 40-yards out, beyond the grasp of Spanish goalkeeper Sandra Panos.

The former University of West Cape striker failed to double her tally when was presented with a free header from a cross by Refiroe, which she headed wide four minutes later.

The first real chance for Spain came in the 32nd minute when a 22-yard free-kick from Torrejon struck the outside of the post.

They continued to probe for the opener with shots from range by Hermoso, Putellas and Torrecill but they all failed to hit the target.

Lebohang Ramalepe was on course to finding her first goal of the tournament after lining up for a free-kick on the edge of the box, but Panos was well alert to the danger at the 40th minute.

Spain struggled to draw up a response, but threatened in three minutes before the break when Marta Corredera struck the post with Andile Dlamini collecting the rebound.

Spain came out firing after the restart as they looked to play themselves back into the game.

Crosses and shots rained in on the Banyana Banyana defence, but they held firm, with some brave defending and a couple of good saves from Dlamini – one of which saw him doing well to keep out a long-range rocket from Philani Shange after 52 minutes.

The pressure finally paid off for the hosts as they earned a 68th-minute penalty after Van Wyk handled in the area to concede penalty.

Jenniffer Hermoso stepped up and calmly slotted the ball to the left as the goalkeeper went the other way for the equalizer.

Noko Matlou was unlucky not to score for South Africa four minutes later as her powerful header came off the crossbar.

Banyana Banyana hopes of a comeback were quashed on the 89th minute when Hermoso picked out Gracia, who knocked it round on the onrushing goalkeeper for easy tap into an empty net to make it 3-1.

South Africa’s next Group B fixture will be on Wednesday, June 12 against Chima at 20h00 CA time.

The Teams:

Spain: Panos, Paredes, Losada, Corredera, Torrejon, Cadentey, Hermoso, Putellas, Torrecilla, Leon, Sampedro.

South Africa: Andile Dlamini (GK), Lebohang Ramalepe, Nothando Vilakazi, Janine van Wyk (c), Noko Matlou, Amanda Mthandi, Kholosa Biyana, Refiloe Jane (C), Linda Motlhalo, Thembi Kgatlana, Ode Fulutudilu.

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