Banyana Banyana Progress to Final Round of Qualifiers

By Brian Harry    03-Aug-2015 14:21 UTC+02:00

Image: Soccer Laduma.

Banyana Banyana have secured their second win over Kenya, beating them 1-0 (2-0 on aggregate) in Machako Stadium, Kenya in their Rio Olympic qualifier on Sunday to progress to the next round of the 2016 qualifiers. The goal came from an unlikely source, Rhoda Mulaudzi, who replaced injured Lebo Ramalepe in the first half, who scored the winner in the first leg played at home. Mulaudzi opened the scoring in the 25th minute after a run to the keeper, blasting home to make it 2-0 on aggregate and 1-0 on the day for Vera Pauw’s side.

Shortly after the goal, Sanah Mollo could have easily scored the second as Kenyan keeper was out of sight but she blasted the ball over the crossbar. However, Banyana still had the advantage and kept their lead until halftime and this meant that Kenya had to score three goals to overcome the lead. Mulaudzi had more chances at goal including a header that was saved by the Kenyan keeper but the home side gave Banyana a hard time when Banyana keeper Barker had to make some saves on the other end.

In the second half there were few chances but Kenya showed how strong they were, forcing barker to make more crucial saves. Mollo had another chance at goal but her shot was blocked by a Kenyan defender. Janine Van Wyk played a major role in the Banyana defence, blocking the Kenyan attacks with ease. Van Wyk has a tattoo of Olympic rings on her right arm and says, “the tattoo is a constant reminder that I have played in the games before. I want to reach that goal again by playing in my second olympics, this time as captain of the team,” she said.

Van Wyk also played in the London 2012 Olympics. Banyana will meet Equitorial Guinea, who beat Nigeria, and the winner will go through to Brazil next year.

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