local soccer 19.10.2015 07:08 am

Banyana qualify for 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Banyana Banyana celebrate a goal. (Photo by Gallo Images)

Banyana Banyana celebrate a goal. (Photo by Gallo Images)

Banyana Banyana have qualified for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games after defeating Equatorial Guinea 1-0 in a hard-hard second leg battle at Estadio de Bata in Equatorial Guinea on Sunday.

A goal in the 62nd minute was enough to see the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana through to Brazil.

With the first leg ending in a goalless draw, the pressure was always going to be on the home side.

The visitors had a chance as early as the sixth minute but Amanda Dlamini fluffed the opportunity.

Ten minutes into the second half Banyana Banyana Refiloe Jane was faced with the opposition keeper but shot straight into her hands.

The Seoposenwe came into picture – a beautifully weighted pass from Dlamini and she coolly finished to silence the large crowd at Estadio de Bata.

Six minutes later the hosts could have equalised after a defensive error from Noko Matlou but goalkeeper Roxanne Barker, saved her blushes.

At this time Equatorial Guinea was throwing everything at South Africa but the defence stood resolute, and Nothando Vilakazi had stop a ball on the line with Barker beaten.

In the 76th minute Barker came to the rescue again with a great save that kept the home side out.

And that’s how it ended in Bata – South Africa hanging on for a famous victory against their more experienced hosts.

“We worked as a team and did what we had to. Guinea was tough but we felt we were better. We build our confidence from the first leg and we had no reason to doubt ourselves. We are not individuals we work as a team – when we lose we lose together and in victory we are also together,” said goal scorer Seoposenwe.

“The win means a lot, as it will hopefully lead to women’s football being recognised in South Africa. We just need to build from this as we are growing in our game. We wanted to make South Africa proud and that is what we did. The goal I scored is not about me, but it stems from teamwork.”

Banyana Banyana arrived in South Africa at 4am on Monday, 19 October.

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