Banyana Banyana had to come from behind to register their first ever victory at the FIFA Women's World Cup on Wednesday morning. Desiree Ellis's side clashed with La Azzurre of Italy, in what turned out to be a five-goal thriller. Let's take a look at Banyana Banyana vs Italy as it happened.
— Banyana_Banyana (@Banyana_Banyana) August 2, 2023
Level at half-time
It's worth mentioning that this is Banyana Banyana's second appearance at the FIFA Women's World Cup. Their previous outing wasn't a particularly enjoyable one; as they lost three of three games, finishing last in their group. Interestingly, up until Wednesday's clash with Italy, South Africa had no wins at the Women's World Cup.
Less than 10 minutes after kick-off, Banyana Banyana's Karabo Dhlamini fouled Chiara Beccari just on the edge of the box, and referee Maria Carvajal awarded the penalty. La Azzurre's Arianna Caruso converted from the spot, giving the Italians the lead.
Interestingly, Banyana Banyana were back on level terms about 20 minutes later; thanks to an own goal by Italy's Benedetta Orsi. The Italians dominated most of the first half, registering seven shots with three of those going on target; they also had 64 percent of the ball in the first 45 minutes.
Banyana Banyana bag first ever win at the FIFA Women's World Cup
It may interest you to know that this was a do-or-die affair for Banyana Banyana; as any result other than a victory would eliminate them from the tournament. In contrast, the Italians could secure a round of 16 spot by not losing.
That said, Desiree Ellis's side upped their game in the second half; and sure enough, their efforts were rewarded as Hildah Magaia gave Banyana Banyana the lead 22 minutes into the second half. South Africa's joy was short-lived however, as Arianna Caruso equalized seven minutes later.
Banyana Banyana found the net once more, a couple of minutes after stoppage time, thanks to Thembi Kgatlana. Although La Azzurre tried to claw their way back into the match, the South Africans held on for their first victory of the tournament.
A goal that will be remembered for a very long time!
A goal that secured Banyana Banyana’s first-ever #FIFAWWC win.
— SuperSport Football ⚽️ (@SSFootball) August 2, 2023
Banyana Banyana's next opponents
With their victory over La Azzurre, Banyana Banyana became the second African country to advance to the knockout stages after the Nigeria Super Falcons. Desiree Ellis's side finished second in Group G, which means they'll face the Netherlands in the round of 16. On the other hand, today's opponents find themselves in third-place with three points, while Sweden leads the Group G standings with a perfect three wins from three.
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It's important to point out that this will be Banyana Banyana's first appearance in the knockout stages of this competition. Their next match vs the Netherlands will take place on Sunday 6th August at 03:00 BST. Venue is the Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago