Lebo Ramalepe scored the only goal for Banyana Banyana against Korea DPR. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

NICOSIA, Cyprus – Banyana Banyana lost 4-1 to Korea DPR in the second match of the 2019 Cyprus Women’s Cup on Friday in Cyprus.

The Asians scored four goals in the first half with no reply from South Africa, whose solitary goal came early in the second stanza.

Desiree Ellis made six changes to the starting line-up for this encounter, bringing in Kaylin Swart, Bambanani Mbane, Mamello Makhabane, Linda Motlhalo and Thembi Kgatlana for Andile Dlamini, Tiisetso Makhubela, Karabo Dhlamini, Nothando Vilakazi, Jermaine Seoposenwe and Busisiwe Ndimeni.

Banyana Banyana suffered an early setback when Rhoda Mulaudzi had to be replaced after she went down with a hamstring injury during the warm-up – Dhlamini took her place.

The setback continued when they conceded a goal as early as the seventh minute through Kim Yun-Mi. Korea DPR was in total control, giving Banyana Banyana no chance on the ball.

South Africa got a chance in the 11th minute when Kgatlana broke free with Motlhalo, but the final shot went into the arms of the goalkeeper.

The Asians were not troubled and got their second goal just two minutes later after tearing the Banyana Banyana defence apart with their sleek and quick passing to make it 2-0. Ri Hyang-Sim was the goal scorer.

YM Kim found the back of the net in the 23rd minute and the score was 3-0.

It did not take long and J Wi scored, with her second of the day and fourth for the Asians – giving them an unassailable 4-0 lead in the 35thminute to confirm a disappointing first half for Ellis’ charges.

Ellis made a double substitution at the start of the second half, with Kholosa Biyana and Seoposenwe replacing Dhlamini and Nyandeni.

Banyana Banyana had a better start in this stanza and competed evenly with the Asians who seemed content with managing the match and protect their lead.

In the 48th minute, South Africa pulled one back with a well-taken strike by defender Lebo Ramalepe to make it 4-1.

It ended 4-1 to Korea, and the South Africans will be the first admit that they had a bad at the office.

They had a disappointing first half – where everything fell apart and tried to recover in the second half, but it was too little too late.

The next match is on Monday against the Czech Republic at Antonis P Stadium in Larnaca at 1pm.

In the first match of the tournament, South Africa drew 2-2 against Finland, while Korea DPR defeated Czech Republic 4-2 in Group A.

In the other Group A match, Czech Republic defeated Finland 2-1.

After two matches, Banyana Banyana are bottom of the table with just one point.

Korea DPR lead the group with six points after two wins and the Czech Republic are three points adrift, with Finland on one point.

African News Agency (ANA)