Thembi Kgatlana celebrates her goal for Banyana Banyana on Sunday with fellow scorer Leandra Smeda. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Banyana Banyana gave Burkina Faso a 4-0 drubbing in their first international friendly at the Dobsonville Stadium on Sunday.

The clash counted as their first official match following their triumph in Zimbabwe in this year’s Cosafa Women’s Championship.

In the first half, Banyana played with more dominance on the ball compared to their opponents moving into the final third.

There was good communication from the back between Banyana centre-back Bambanani Mbane and her skipper Janine van Wyk, who was making her return to the senior national team after missing out on the Cosafa event due to club commitments at the Houston Dash in the United States.

The 30-year-old centre-back led with her wealth of experience at the back, ensuring that Banyana’s goalmouth was protected at all times.

Up in the attacking third, Banyana created most of the chances and could have buried their opponents with an avalanche of goals had it not be lack of composure ahead of the halftime break.

Banyana could only score two out of those chances, with Lebohang Ramalepe being the first one to put her name on the score-sheet, while Leandra Smeda followed with a superb header.

In the second period, attacking midfielder Thembi Kgatlana was on everybody’s slips who came to watch the match, as she scored two brilliant goals in a space of a minute to give the home side a comfortable lead.

The win was expected for the home side as they were playing against a side who are 11 places below them on the Caf rankings, while they hold the fifth spot.

Interim coach Desiree Ellis will be pleased with the fact that her side were able to build from their Cosafa triumph as they shift their focus to next year’s Women’s Afcon qualifiers, where the tournament will serve as the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup qualifiers.

And where or not the Banyana interim coach will be given the coach post on a permanent basis – when her Safa bosses finally make the announcement in whom they are bringing in for next’s Women’s Afcon qualifiers – Ellis will be pleased that she has done all that she could to ensure that Banyana produced a string of positive results under her leadership.


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