USA Banyana Banyana international friendly report
Posted: 9 July 2016 Time: 18:46
Banyana Banyana played in the most high-profile match in their history on Saturday night in Chicago against women's world champions USA, and lost by only one goal.
Vera Pauw's ladies set up their stall bravely against their fully professional counterparts at Soldier Field and were under the cosh for large parts of the game, but managed to escape with just a 1-0 defeat.
Crystal Dunn scored for the hosts in the 35th minute as she converted Mallory Pugh's cross from the left from close range, while Banyana's only shot on goal was comfortably saved by Hope Solo in the 68th minute. Solo kept her 100th clean sheet for her team in this game - the first goalkeeper in history to achieve this feat.
Banyana captain Janince van Wyk and Nothando Vilakazi made a last-ditch tackle and goal-line clearance respectfully to keep the scoreline low as the team held their own against far superior opponents, who were clearly not happy with the way the game turned out.
However, the result is hugely encouraging for Banyana, who are lightyears behind the progress of the USA women's national team but were not embarrassed in any way.
Amanda Dlamini also came off the bench to record her 100th international cap for the South African senior women's national team.
The international friendly was intended as match practice ahead of the Olympic Games tournament in August, and will have done their confidence the world of good.
United States: Solo, O’Hara, Johnston, Sauerbrunn, Klingenberg, Long, Press, Horan, Dunn, Morgan, Pugh
Subs: Naeher, Engen, Krieger, Sonnett, Mewis, O’Reilly, Lloyd
South Africa: Barker, Vilakazi, Matlou, Van Wyk, Jane, Malherbe, Ramalepe, Nogwanya, Moodaly, Seoposenwe, Motlhalo
Subs: An Dlamini, Swart, Ntsibande, Smeda, Mbane, Mabatle, Makhabane, Am Dlamini, Ngubane, Nyandeni, Kgatlana, Mollo