Banyana star makes history abroad
Posted: 10 August 2018 Time: 08:30
Banyana Banyana player Leandra Smeda bagged a crucial goal for her Lithuanian club Gintra Universitetas in the UEFA Women’s Champions League on Tuesday.
Smeda scored in the first minute of stoppage time to cancel out a first half goal from Sini Vehvilainen for Finnish side Honka.
Smeda, who has played five matches for her new club, became the first South African to score in the UEFA Women’s Champions League.
She described the feeling of bagging an important goal for her side.
“It was almost similar to the one I scored in Zimbabwe during the COSAFA Cup. It was open play and we were in attack, one of our players was fouled in the box and as we were appealing for a penalty the referee wasn’t interested, so we continued with play.
“One of my teammates took a shot and the goalkeeper parried it into my path, and I just headed it back to goals – in fact I thought she had it, but it slipped through her fingers and there was jubilation all around. It was not a spectacular goal but a very crucial one for the team, which gave us a great result.
“We played a very strong team, in fact, the strongest in the group, so the 1-1 draw was a great result for us. I felt very good scoring that equaliser when we thought we had lost the game. What was even more exciting was that I played the full match, my first since I arrived here. It was a very tough and exciting game,” said an elated Smeda from Lithuania.