Advantage Banyana in AWCON qualifier
Posted: 6 June 2018 Time: 17:03
Banyana Banyana edged Lesotho 1-0 to take the advantage in their two-legged final round African Women's Cup of Nations qualifier on Wednesday.
Banyana forward Leandra Smeda scored the only goal of the match early on at the Setsoto Stadium in Maseru, where proceedings kicked off at 15h00.
It took just nine minutes for Desire Ellis's side to find the back of the net through Smeda, as they dominated the early exchanges.
Smeda came close to finding a second in the 13th minute, but was unable to steer her header on target from a corner.
The hosts finally got into gear after the half-hour mark as they won their first corner kick in the 36th minute, but couldn't capitalise on the opportunity.
Banyana goalkeeper Roxanne Barker finally made her first save, although rather comfortably, in the 42nd minute as she gobbled up an attempt at goal.
Refiloe Jane had a chance to extend the lead early in the second stanza, after Nothando Vilakzai was brought down just outside the area, but the former couldn't find the goal.
Lesotho had their first real chance at goal in the 57th minute, but the assistant's flag went up for off-side.
Striker Jermain Seoposenwe almost doubled the lead within the final 20 minutes of the match, but her effort was saved by the hosts' keeper.
The South Africans piled the pressure on the Lesotho goal in the final 10 minutes, but were unable to increase their first-leg advantage in the end.
The second leg is scheduled to take place on Sunday at the Dr Petrus Molemela Stadium in Bloemfontein. Kick-off is at 15h00.
The overall winner of the tie will advance to the 2018 AWCON finals, which will be held in Ghana between November and December.
Banyana XI: Barker (GK), Ramalepe, Vilakazi, Matlou (Esau 66'), Mogolola (Nhlapo 54'), Mohlakoana (Salgado 72'), Seoposenwe, Mbane, Jane (cpt), Smeda, Nyandeni.