Viva, Banyana! You’ve got guts

A penalty is awarded as Janine Van Wyk of South Africa blocks a shot from Jennifer Hermoso of Spain with her arm during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France group B match between Spain and South Africa at Stade Oceane on June 08, 2019 in Le Havre, France. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

A penalty is awarded as Janine Van Wyk of South Africa blocks a shot from Jennifer Hermoso of Spain with her arm during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France group B match between Spain and South Africa at Stade Oceane on June 08, 2019 in Le Havre, France. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

Our footballing women showed more guts than many of our national men’s sporting teams.

For a golden, shining moment, it felt like 2010 all over again – when a bullet of a shot from a South African footballer stunned our more fancied opponents by putting the ball into the back of the net.

Tomorrow it will be nine years – doesn’t seem like it though – since Siphiwe Tshabalala had South Africans screaming in ecstasy as he slotted the opening goal of the World Cup against Mexico.

On Saturday, many of us hoped – and prayed – history would repeat itself when Thembi Kgatlana’s centimetre-perfect lofted chip curled into the top corner of Spain’s net at the women’s World Cup in France. And, as she and the rest of Banyana Banyana held the Spaniards at bay for more than an hour, it looked like the dream might come true.

Sadly, two penalty decisions – and subsequent goals – took the wind out of our sails so that a third Spanish goal was almost inevitable. But this loss – with the element of bad luck in it, we think – should not make us angry or despondent.

Our footballing women showed more guts than many of our national men’s sporting teams … the less said about that the better. Viva Banyana! Win or lose, we are behind you.

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