Banyana Banyana advanced to the quarter-finals of the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations with a 3-1 win over Burundi in Group C on Thursday evening.
Banyana missed Hildah Magaia, who scored the winner against Nigeria in their tournament opener on Monday but featured Robyn Moodaly alongside Thembi Kgatlana in the last third.
It was an energetic start from Banyana and they deservedly went ahead after 20 minutes through a low composed finish in the area by Kgatlana.
The Atletico Madrid star closed-in on a brace minutes thereafter from a one-on-one following a through pass, but the opposite number advanced and smothered.
Burundi began to show up after an underwhelming opening and from their first attack, levelled after a cutback on the left saw Aniella Uwimana connect and thumped home on the half-hour mark.
Although, Banyana’s lead was restored immediately thereafter when Amogelang Motau picked up a loose ball following a snap clearance and converted from close-range.
Banyana received a big chance to go three goals up on the cusp of halftime from a penalty after Jermaine Seoposenwe went down in the area, but she stepped up and saw her strike parried.
Given their dominant half, Banyana still issued a substitute ahead of the resumption where Linda Motlhalo replaced Moodaly just before a goal-line clearance denied Kgatlana a double.
Banyana picked up yet another penalty over seven minutes in the second half following a foul on Kgatlana, and substitute Motlhalo rose forth and executed smartly.
At this point, the South Africans were in complete control and a fourth appeared in sight shortly afterwards but Refiloe Jane in particular and Noxolo Cesane missed target.
Burundi’s plight worsened towards the remaining 15 minutes with Annociate Nshimirimana dismissed on review from the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for a professional foul outside the area.
The South Africans maintained control in the closing stages and could’ve added more goals, but nonetheless emerged victors and sealed a last eight ticket with one group stage match to go.