Banyana claim AWC spot over Zimbabwe

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The goals were scored by Nomthandazo Kubheka and Hlengiwe Ngwane.

Although 4-1 down at the start of the match, Zimbabwe came at South Africa strongly, and indicated early on that they were not going to give up easily.

Both teams gave away possession quite freely in the first half. The Mighty Warriors had their fair share of chances, but the likes of experienced Precious Mpala couldn’t make the most of their opportunities.

Towards the end of the first half South Africa began putting on the pressure. Noko Motlou had a powerful shot saved by the diminutive Zimbabwean keeper Onai Chingawo in the 26th minute, and shot wide in the 28th after beating her defender and putting in a great run. In the 34th minute Vilakazi had a great shot, from a great Ngwane free kick, which came off the crossbar.

In injury time at the end of the first half the Mighty Warriors keeper Chingawo clashed with Motlou in the box, and was replaced by Chido Dzingirai.

Banyana coach Augustine Makalakalane replaced midfielder Noluthando Vilakazi with Nomthandazo Kubheka in the 55th minute, and the striker really altered the complexion of the game.

The fact that the Zimbabweans lack match fitness because their league season hasn’t yet begun probably helped Banyana to dominate.

In the 65th minute Banyana created a chance from nothing, with Kubheka receiving a great ball from over her left shoulder and cleverly heading home past the advancing keeper to make it 1-0.

Banyana stalwart Kylie-Ann Louw had a header come off the upright in the 72nd minute, but Banyana finally made it two in the 75th, when a fantastic strike from Ngwane left the keeper standing, and she was finally rewarded from a fine performance.

The win books Banyana a place in the African Women’s Championsips, to be held from November 15-29 in Equatorial Guinea.

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