Despite their failure to pick up a point in France, there were a number of high-level performances, with a trio of stars shining bright in the squad of Banyana coach Desiree Ellis.
Thembi Kgatlana will be remembered as the player who scored South Africa’s first Women’s World Cup goal, but not only that.
Having been named among the best players in Africa, Kgatlana continues to influence the team’s attack, making it difficult for defenders to contain her. For her, playing on the world stage wasn’t just a chance for her to shine, but an opportunity to open doors for other players in South Africa.
Although, Andile Dlamini conceded the most goals of the two Banyana goalkeepers which featured in the tournament, Dlamini made some outstanding saves too.
She showed remarkable mental strength in their last group match against Germany, recovering from an error in the first half to excel in the second. After being demoted to second-choice goalkeeper, and not playing a single match at the Caf Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, she left everything on the field.
Lebohang Ramalepe may have taken a whole game to come out of her shell, but she was an outstanding member of the Banyana defence. The diminutive right-back is not only tenacious but also attacks with confidence and can take on attackers almost twice her size.