Banyana win, in hunt for semi-final spot
1 November 2012
Banyana Banyana bossed their African Women's Championship clash against Senegal at the Malabo Stadium in Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday, but had to settle for a 1-0 victory, which kept them in the running for a place in the semi-finals of the competition.
Chance after chance was spurned as Senegalese goalkeeper Mariane Fall struggled to deal with a steady stream of crosses from out wide, but South Africa were eventually rewarded for their dominance when striker Andiswe Mgcoyi netted in the 70th minute.
The defeat effectively rules Senegal out of the semi-finals. They were beaten 1-0 by the Democratic Republic of Congo in their first outing.
Hosts' big victory
Equatorial Guinea, meanwhile, booked their semi-final place by overwhelming DR Congo 6-0 in their second outing. They beat Banyana Banyana 1-0 in the opening game of the finals.
Given the Congolese struggles against the hosts, South Africa should have enough firepower to beat them in their last group game and clinch a semi-final place, but coach Joseph Mkhonza's charges will need to be far more effective in front of goal.
"It's a well-deserved win. We should have won the match with an avalanche of goals," Mkhonza told Times Live. "Congrats to the girls for a job well done.
"We just need to win our last group match against Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday," Mkhonza said.
'We will go all the way'
"I still maintain we will go all the way to the final and win the tournament, though I have to confess [that] there are no easy games."
Fielding an attack-minded formation, the South Africans had too much pace on the flanks for Senegal, with Nothando Vilakazi, who moved from left back to left wing for the match, giving the Senegalese defenders fits.
Banyana Banyana's midfield dominated possession and the South Africans could have had a healthy, match-winning advantage by half-time.
In the seventh minute, the livewire Mgcoyi latched on to a superb through-ball to beat the Senegalese offside, but saw her attempted lob going narrowly wide with the advancing goalkeeper Mariane Fall well beaten.
Portia Modise, playing in her 100th international game, was in an attacking mood, but goalkeeper Fall kept her at bay.
In the second half, Mkhonza continued his offensive approach with Bloemfontein Celtics Ladies’ striker Sanah Mollo and Durban Ladies goal-hungry Silindile Ngubane - on for Noko Matlou and Nocawe Skiti respectively - playing key roles in forcing the Senegalese side back into their own half for long periods of play.
Spurs WFC speedster Jermaine Seoposenwe - on for Mgcoyi in the final minutes of the match - also looked dangerous on the attack and was unlucky to have a goal disallowed for being offside after South Africa had strung together a flowing passing movement.
The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana play their final Group A fixture against the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Bata on Saturday, 3 November.
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