Banyana earn draw with Cameroon
23 October 2012
Central defender Amanda Sister, back from injury, scored a late goal to help Banyana Banyana to a 1-1 draw with Cameroon in a friendly international match in Yaounde, Cameroon on Monday.
The South African national women's football team is based in Yaounde to help the players acclimatise to the hot conditions that are expected at the eight-nation Confederation of African Football (Caf) African Women's Championship in Equatorial Guinea, which begins on Sunday.
What Banyana needed
Speaking after the hard-fought draw, Banyana coach Joseph Mkhonza said: "The match against Cameroon was just the type of physical encounter our players needed ahead of what should be a tough Group A fixture against hosts Equatorial Guinea at the Caf African Women's Championship.
"Safa (the South African Football Association) and our team sponsor Sasol need to be thanked for their support of the Banyana squad and I know the players will give their all at the African tournament.
"We were not outclassed today against Cameroon," he added. "We were competitive, and know which areas of our play to work on ahead of the tournament in Equatorial Guinea. We had our chances against Cameroon just like they did, but were kept out by some superb goalkeeping."
Tall Cameroonian striker Enganamouit Gaelle tested the Banyana Banyana defence with a chip over advancing goalkeeper Thoko Mndaweni as early as the 7th minute, but Mndaweni reached high and held on to the ball to prevent her side going behind.
The South Africans were not as lucky second time around, however. In the 27th minute, Gaelle beat defender Janine van Wyk to the ball and chipped a charging Mndaweni to put Cameroon ahead.
Coach Mkhonza tried out various options in the second half with Caf African Women's Footballer of the Year 2009, striker Noko Matlou, being introduced at the expense of the speedy Jermaine Seoposenwe.
Bloemfontein Celtic' Ladies striker Sanah Mollo came on for Durban Ladies' goal-getter Silindile Ngubane and another Durban Ladies player, defender Charlotte Mshengu, made her Banyana Banyana debut, replacing Zamandosi Cele at right-back.
South Africa were more attacking after the substitutions were made and a period of extensive pressure deep in Cameroon's territory finally ended with Sister stabbing the ball home in a packed penalty area with just two minutes of play left.
Sister, who missed the previous two matches against Zimbabwe due to a quadriceps injury, added solidity to Banyana's rearguard, while in midfield Refiloe Jane was involved in the majority of possession won and turned into Banyana Banyana attacks.
Matlou, the scorer of 55 goals in 78 internationals, also impressed after she came on in the second half.
Caf African Women's Championship
Banyana Banyana will open their Group A campaign at the Caf African Women's Championship against hosts, Equatorial Guinea, in Malabo on 28 October. After that, they face Senegal in the same city on 31 October. Their final group game will be against DR Congo in Bata on 3 November.
The semi-finals will take place in either Malabo or Bata on 7 November, while the third place playoff and final will take place in Malabo on 11 November.
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