Banyana Banyana suffered a 3-0 defeat to Sweden in an international friendly match played at the Cape Town Stadium on Sunday, 21 January.
This was South Africa’s first match since they last faced Burkina Faso in October 2017, but Desiree Ellis’ charges gave as much as they got in this exciting encounter against the Swedes, who are ranked 10th in the world on the FIFA rankings.
The match, the first time Banyana Banyana played in the Mother City, was attended by a decent crowd, which included, among others, the royal couple, Prince Phillip and Princess Sofia.
After a good start, the home side was unfortunate when they conceded an own goal in the 10th minute through defender Bambanani Mbani.
Banyana Banyana had a couple of chances to restore parity, but striker Thembi Kgatlana missed guilt-edged opportunities with the goalkeeper to beat, which could have changed the complexion of the game.
Ellis made a subsititution late in the first half, replacing debutant Sduduzo Dlamini with the experienced Jermaine Seoposenwe.
But it was the Europeans who doubled their lead just two minutes after the restart in the second half through striker Loreta Kullashi, who had just come on.
She completed her brace after a defensive error in the 69th minute and Sweden were 3-0 to the good.
Desiree made some changes – bringing on Amogelang Motau, Melinda Kgadiete (who was also making her Banyana Banyana debut) and Kholosa Biyana for Nompulelelo Nyandeni, Chantelle Esau and Leandra Smeda respectively – but they did not have the desired effect.
It ended 3-0 to the visitors. Banyana Banyana gave a good performance but could not find the back of the net, and in the end lost 3-0.
The next assignment for South Africa is the Cyprus Cup at the end of February, where Banyana Banyana has been pitted against Slovakia, Hungary and Trinidad and Tobago in Group C.