The two international friendlies of which Chile won the first were in preparation for next month’s Africa Women’s Cup of Nations tournament in Ghana where Banyana needs to finish in the top three to qualify for next year’s World Cup in France.
Banyana Banyana started at a very fast pace, holding their own against the highly ranked Chile. Banyana midfielder, Refiloe Jane, scored her fourth goal in three matches, shortly after missing a golden opportunity early in the match.
From then on, the Chileans enjoying the lion’s share of possession took the game to Banyana Banyana. It came as no surprise when the South Americans scored the equaliser eight minutes into the second half.
Ten minutes later, Thembi Kgatlana should have restored Banyana’s lead after dribbling her way past the entire defence only to be denied by the upright. However, a minute later, the United States-based striker made up for her mistake, netting Banyana’s second goal of the match.
The South Africans struggled when having to deal with free-kicks and Javier Grez made it 2-all. Banyana used these friendly matches to prepare for next month’s Africa Women’s Cup of Nations tournament in Ghana.
Chile on the other hand are preparing for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. According to Captain, Desiree Ellis, the two matches served their purpose.
“Today was an improved performance by far, everyone playing their part and creating opportunities we played really well and we counted at whatever they threw at us.”
Ellis conceded that they will have to go back and work on the way they defend set pieces, before the Cup of Nations tournament.
“We are looking for results and we are also looking for improved performances we have to go back and look at defending set pieces that’s the only way they could have scored today.”
The Africa Women’s Cup of Nations tournament takes place in Ghana from 17 November. It also doubles as the African qualifiers for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.