Best pictures from Sweden vs Banyana Banyana in Women’s World Cup

Best pictures from Sweden vs Banyana Banyana in Women’s World Cup
Credit: Icon Sport

South Africa's Banyana Banyana could not hold on to their lead against Sweden who recovered quickly after going 1-0 down early in the second half.

They lost 2-1 on the day, making them the second straight African team at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to go down to a defeat. Regardless, the Sweden vs Banyana Banyana fixture provided its moments.

Things are looking dire for the African contingent at the tournament being staged in Australia and New Zealand, with only the Super Falcons of Nigeria offering a glimmer of hope. 

Read on to see how the match went and view some of the best moments in images.

Sweden 2-1 South Africa: The match as it happened

Sweden, the third-ranked team in the world, are expected to finish at the top of Group G but South Africa showed them that it would not be as easy. 

Desirée Ellis set up her team in a classic 4-4-2 with her main women Thembi Kgatlana and the “Randfontein Ronaldinho” Linda Motlhalo paired upfront at the two strikers. 

Captain Refiloe Jane led from the midfield and they matched the might of the Swedes for the whole of the first half. 

The match was played under pouring rain in New Zealand's capital but Ellis' women were impressive enough to hold the number three team in the world for 45 minutes. 

Two minutes after the start, South Africa's Hildah Magaia broke the deadlock two minutes after the break. Kgatlana showed her blistering pace to break past the Sweden defence and let one rip. 

Her shot was deflected but Sweden's goalkeeper was alert to turn it away. The save fell into the path of Magaia, who bundled home the rebound in the midst of yellow Swedish shirts. She had to be substituted after the goal for treatment. 

Both teams traded attack after attack but were unable to muster anything serious until the 65th minute. Johanna Rytting Kaneryd, crossing from an attack, hit South Africa defender Lebohang Ramalepe and the second ball bounced into the net off Fridolina Rolfo to equalise for Sweden. 

The Swedes picked up the pace but it looked like South Africa were headed for a historic draw until Amanda Ilestedt 90th minute winner. She jumped the highest to power home a header from Sweden's 11th corner of the game.

South Africa will now hope to pull off upsets against Argentina and Italy, who will face each other on Monday. They will also count on both teams to seal a win with a large margin to increase their chances of making it to the knockout rounds.

Moments from Sweden vs South Africa at the FIFA WWC AUS/NZ

Many interesting moments were captured by the photographers on duty at the Group G opener of South Africa and Sweden. See some of them below.

Rebecka Blomqvist, Hanna Bennison, Sofia Jakobsson and Magdalena Eriksson celebrate after the match between. Credit – Icon sport
Amanda Ilestedt of Sweden scores the 2-1 goal. Credit – Icon sport
South Africa players gather around Hildah Magaia after she went down from scoring the opening goal. Credit – Icon sport
Sibulele Holweni and Johanna Rytting Kaneryd in action during the match. Credit – Icon Sport

Stay tuned to Goalball Live for excellent coverage on the African teams at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.

This article was most recently revised and updated 10 months ago

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