Sweden breaks Banyana hearts

Henry

Sweden’s women’s soccer team beat Banyana Banyana 2-1 today in the two teams’ opening game of the World Cup tournament in New Zealand.

The Europeans, who enjoyed significantly more possession (69% to 31%), had to wait until the 90th minute to seal the match when Amanda Ilestedt rose high to score the winning goal.

The South Africans provided the opening goal of the showdown thanks to Hildah Magaia, but the Swedish team is undoubtedly a well-oiled machine and the players’ nimble footwork – they passed the ball between them 548 times – was ultimately one too many for the Banyana defenders.

However, Refiloe Jane’s team deserves a pat on the back for the way in which they bravely tried to keep one attack after another away from their goal cage in the pouring rain.

Sweden is the third best team in the international rankings, while the South Africans occupy 54th place.

Banyana Banyana must now win their next game against Argentina if they still dream of a place in the next round of the tournament.

Goal scorers:

Banyana Banyana: Hildah Magaia (48th minute)

Sweden: Fridolina Rolfo (65th minute) and Amanda Ilestedt (90th minute)

Banyana Banyana Team: Kaylin Swart (goalkeeper), Lebohang Ramalepe, Bambanani Mbane, Bongeka Gamede, Sibulele Holweni, Refiloe Jane (captain), Kholosa Biyana, Linda Mothlalo, Jermaine Seoposenwe, Hildah Magaia and Thembi Kgatlana.

Upcoming matches:

July 28: South Africa v Argentina in Dunedin

2 August: South Africa v Italy in Wellington