Banyana Banyana defeated neighbours Botswana 2-0 on Saturday, 9 April at the Lobatse Sports Complex in Botswana.
The visitors were favourites to emerge victorious from the encounter but the hosts made it very difficult for them.
Striker Sanah Mollo had South Africa’s best chance in the first half when she was free on goal but shot wide in the 30th minute.
Botswana looked very solid, organised and very determined – they were in total control of the first half with Banyana Banyana defending with everything they had and managed to hold on until the halftime break.
At the start of the second stanza, South Africa’s coach Vera Pauw brought on Thembi Kgatlana for Silindile Ngubane – but the former lasted only eight minutes on the pitch as she was carried off with an ankle sprain.
Her place was taken by Shiwe Nogwanya.
The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana then upped their tempo and were rewarded with a goal in the 69th minute from Mollo – her powerful strike hitting the upright and hit the back of the Botswana goalkeeper to go into the net.
From here on South Africa took complete control of the game as the home side slowed down.
Linda Motlhalo was brought in to take the place of Nompulelo Nyandeni.
Mollo then registered her second of the day and second for Banyana Banyana when she found the back of the net in the 73rd minute – by that time the hosts didn’t look like they would come back.
And that is how it ended with South Africa having an advantage going into the second leg on Tuesday, 12 April at the Makhulong Stadium.
Kickoff is at 19h00.
Banyana Banyana return home on Sunday morning (10 April).
This is how they lined up:
Sedilame Bosija (GK), Bonang Otlhagile (C), Kgomotso Molefe, Masego Motsho, Kesegofetse Mochawe, Tlamelo Motlhale, Lebogang Setereke, Nondi Mahlasela, Thuto Ramafifi, Refilwe Tholakele, Bame Ngenda
Refiloe Tshambani (GK), Nancy Baeletsi, Balotlhanyi Johannes, Golebaone Selebatso, Patricia Motingwa, Refilwe Matho, Thuso Leseane
Coach: Gaoletlhoo Nkutlwisang
Roxanne Barker (GK), Nothando Vilakazi, Noko Matlou, Janine van Wyk (C), Mamello Makhabane, Amanda Dlamini, Silindile Ngubane (Thembi Kgatlana) (Shiwe Nongwanya) , Sannah Mollo, Refiloe Jane, Leandra Smeda, Nompumelo Nyandeni (Linda Motlhalo)
Andile Dlamini (GK), Lebohang Ramalepe, Linda Motlhalo, Thembi Kgatlana, Bambanani Mbane, Shiwe Nogwanya, Stephanie Malherbe
In the stands:
Mapaseka Mpuru (GK), Mpho Teffo (GK), Yolula Tsawe (GK), Letago Madiba, Lebogang Mabatle, Andisiwe Mgcoyi, Jabulile Mazibuko, Chantelle Essau, Nomathemba Ntsibande, Lerato Kgasago, Bongiwe Thusi
Coach: Vera Pauw