Home Sport Five things we learnt from Banyana’s win over Botswana

Five things we learnt from Banyana’s win over Botswana

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Sports correspondent Smiso Msomi takes a look at five things we learnt from the clash.

Refiloe Jane of South Africa during the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations match between South Africa and Burundi at Stade Prince Moulay Al Hassan, Rabat
Refiloe Jane of South Africa during the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations match between South Africa and Burundi at Stade Prince Moulay Al Hassan, Rabat on 7 July 2022. Picture: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Johannesburg – The South African Women’s football team beat Botswana women 1-0 in their final group game at the African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) on Sunday night.

A new-look Banyana starting 11 took some time to get going, but in the end they secured victory and finished at the top of group C and will face Tunisia in the quarter-finals.

Sports correspondent Smiso Msomi takes a look at five things we learnt from the clash.

Strength in depth in defence

Banyana coach Desiree Ellis flexed her muscle of strength in depth as she made wholesale alterations to the side that convincingly beat Burundi.

The South African ladies struggled on a hot night at the Complexe Sportif Prince Moulay Abdellah, in Morocco, got the job done.

An over-reliance Refiloe Jane

Refiloe Jane has certainly shown her worth, while in the colours of Banyana over the years. However, the past two years have been a on a new level and when she’s not available the team will certainly feel that absence.

Jane was handed a well-deserved rest in the middle of the park with Kholosa Biyana given the nod to dictate terms in the heart and soul of the team alongside Linda Motlalo. Try as they might have, the gulf in quality was evident which in the end contributed to an average team performance.

Conveyor belt of talent

The pool of selection has certainly widened for coach Ellis, a pleasing fact for both the technical team and  Banyana fans.

The Hollywoodbets Super League afforded youngsters the platform to not only fit their names in for selection, but also prove they could perform for a sustained period of time.

The 18-year-old Nthabiseng Majiya came off the bench to score the match-winner for Banyana, a sign of the kind of quality that is being implemented at development level for Ellis to have at her disposal.

Sweat over fitness of Thembi Kgatlana and Jermaine Thembi

On a night where many things just weren’t quite right for Banyana, the worst occurrence had to be the hobbling off of star strike duo Thembi Kgatlana and Jermaine Seoposenwe.

Perhaps we’re yet to see a polished performance in the competition so far, but their quality and dynamic running are certainly elements Ellis can’t demand of anyone else.

Van Wyk has aged like fine wine

The 35-year-old Janine Van Wyk played her first match this tournament against The Mares and didn’t look a bit out place, commanding her backline and making last ditch tackles at crucial times.

She has over 180 appearances in national team colours, the record holder and continues to manoeuvre with guile and class.

@ScribeSmiso

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