SANTIAGO, Chile –Banyana Banyana went down 2-1 to Chile in an international friendly match played on Saturday at Estadio Sausalito in Vina del Mar, Chile.
The South Africans had to play with 10 players from the 38th minute after striker Jermaine Seoposenwe was red-carded for a late tackle.
Banyana coach Desiree Ellis had made two changes to the squad that started the final of the Cosafa Women’s Championship in Port Elizabeth last month, as she brought in Leandra Smeda for Thembi Kgatlana, while Bambanani Mbane started ahead of Noko Matlou.
This was a historic first meeting between South Africa and Chile – with Banyana the first-ever African team to face the South Americans in their hometown.
Ellis’ charges had a chance on the 15th minute when Refiloe Jane’s volley just went wide.
About a minute later, Kgaelebane Mohlakoana had a shot at goal, and with the keeper beaten, she could not beat the crossbar, and the ball went out.
The home side also had chances of their own and could have taken the lead in the 21st minute from a free kick that went straight to the goals, but Kaylin Swart was equal to the task and parried it for a corner.
Chile did, however, get their goal in the 36th minute after Banyana Banyana failed to defend from a corner, and Carla Guerrero rose the highest to head in and take a 1-0 lead.
Seven minutes from the break, the visitors found themselves in deeper trouble when they went a player down, after Jermaine Seoposenwe was given her marching orders for an off-the-ball foul.
South Africa hung in to see things through to the end of the half.
Ellis made two changes early in the second half, introducing Thembi Kgatlana and Rachel Sebati for Mohlakoana and Leandra Smeda.
Sebati made her presence felt when she hit a great volley in the 65th minute, but the ball hit an opponent and fell into the arms of Christiane Endler in the Chile goals.
Despite being down to 10 players, South Africa held their own, and got the much-needed equaliser when Jane found herself alone in the box in the 67th minute and easily slotted past Endler to make it 1-1.
Action from the @Banyana_Banyana vs @LaRoja friendly match played on Saturday 6 October at Estadio Sausalito in Vina del Mar in Chile. The host nation won 2-1 with goals from Carla Guerrero and Karen Araya, while SA replied through Refiloe Jane @SAFA_net @SasolLeague @SasolSA pic.twitter.com/ZGdNJs4oHC
This was her 10th goal in Banyana Banyana colours in her 91st appearance – Jane was continuing from where she left off when she scored two goals in the Cosafa final.
But the jubilation did not last long as two minutes later, captain Janine van Wyk was adjudged to have fouled a player in the box, and a penalty was awarded to Chile La Roja Feminina.
Karen Araya stepped up and made no mistake from the spot-kick to restore the home side’s lead.
Battling hard for an equaliser, Ellis brought on fresh legs, with Nompumelelo Nyandeni replacing Kholosa Biyana late in the second half, but the changes did not bring the desired result, and it ended 2-1 to the South Americans.
This was Banyana’s first loss in seven matches.
Jermaine Seoposenwe will miss the 2nd match against @LaRoja on Tues 9 Oct after she was red carded in the 38th minute of the 1st half against Chile on Sat 6 Oct as @Banyana_Banyana lost the tie 2-1 in the 1st of 2 international friendly matches @SAFA_net @SasolLeague @SasolSA pic.twitter.com/OnyVM1xMGG
After losing to Sweden in January in Cape Town, they registered back-to-back victories over Lesotho in the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers earlier this year.
They continued the winning streak when they went unbeaten in five matches at the Cosafa Cup.
The two countries will do battle again in the second international friendly on Tuesday at Estadio Santa Laura in the capital Santiago.
African News Agency (ANA)