CAPE TOWN - A gallant effort from Banyana Banyana wasn’t enough as they succumbed 3-0 to Sweden in an international friendly played at Cape Town Stadium yesterday.
Despite the South African national women’s football team performing well in patches, in the end they were simply outclassed by opponents far more experienced and a lot more tactically aware.
Sweden, in the typical strength of European football, played with precision and discipline. They used slick, quick passing and there was no unnecessary dwelling in possession. They were always patient and sure in their build-ups as they tried to break down the resolute South Africans.
The Swedes dominated the early stages of the encounter, though they were fortunate to take the lead in 10th minute when the unlucky Nolufefe Mbane headed the ball into her own net. Not deterred, though, Banyana gradually played their way back into the game. Once Refiloe Jane made her presence felt in midfield and the excellent Thembi Kgatlana got going, Sweden had a fight on their hands.
Kgatlana had two glorious opportunities, but squandered both. On both occasions, when put through first by Chantelle Esau and then by Jane, she was clean through on goal, but she stabbed the first one wide and the second high.