Vice captain of the Banyana Banyana, Refiloe Jane, will be making her 100thappearance for country when she runs out against Finland in South Africa’s opening match of the 2019 Cyprus Women’s Cup.
The clash takes place in Larnaca, Cyprus this afternoon (Wednesday, 27 February) at 13h00.
Head coach Desiree Ellis made six changes to the squad that started against Sweden in Cape Town last month.
Banyana Banyana vice captain Refiloe Jane celebrated her 100thinternational and captain Janine van Wyk handed over the armband for Jane to lead the team against Finland.
Jane made her debut for South Africa in this tournament back in 2012 against Northern Ireland.
The Australia-based midfielder has 12 goals in her name.
In a show of great sportsmanship, Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk handed over the armband to Jane to lead the team against Finland.
On the field of play, South Africa started very slowly and allowed Finland to dictate terms.
This was the second meeting between the two nations – they last met in the 2015 in the Cyprus Cup, with the Europeans emerging victorious 2-1.
Banyana Banyana were chasing shadows, which saw Leandra Smeda get a yellow card as early as the 10thminute.
Despite playing with their backs against the wall, South Africa held firm.
Their best chance in the first half came in the 43rdminute when Smeda sent a long ball to Rhoda Mulaudzi who managed to control it nicely, but shot wide with keeper to beat.
Ellis made two substitutions in the second half bringing on Linda Motlhalo and Thembi Kgatlana for Busisiwe Ndimeni and Karabo Dhlamini.
Finland opened the scoring in the 48thminute through Juliette Kemppi after a defensive lapse by South Africa.
A short while later they managed to get the ball in the back of the net but was disallowed.
The match was stopped for a few minutes as a heavy downpour prevented the players from playing.
When they resumed, Kgatlana was giving the Finland defence a headache.
At some point she outpaced a defender and her powerful shot was parried for a corner.
She was back in the 69thminute, carrying the ball from the halfway line and passed on to Jermaine Seoposenwe in the box, who was fouled and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.
Smeda coolly converted the penalty in the 70thminute to make it 1-1.
But seven minutes later Adelina Engman was given acres of space in the box and managed to hit a curler that gave Andile Dlamini no chance in the Banyana Banyana goals – 2-1 to Finland.
Kgatlana was not done yet – in the 83rdminute she again took on the Finland defence and after a couple of twists and turns, she let rip a shot that gave South Africa the much-needed equaliser.
It ended 2-2.
Banyana Banyana next face Korea DPR on Friday, 1 March 2019 at the AEK Arena in Larnaca.
Kickoff is at 18h00.
South Africa vs Finland (February 2019 – Cyprus)
Andile Dlamini (GK), Lebohang Ramalepe, Nothando Vilakazi (Mamello Vilakazi), Janine van Wyk (c), Tiisetso Makhubela, Refiloe Jane, Busisiwe Ndimeni (Linda Motlhalo), Leandra Smeda, Karabo Dhlamini (Thembi Kgatlana), Jermaine Seoposenwe, Rhoda Mulaudzi
Kaylin Swart (GK), Victoria Muroa (GK), Noko Matlou, Mamello Makhabane, Amanda Mthandi, Linda Motlhalo, Thembi Kgatlana, Bambanani Mbane, Nompumelelo Nyandeni, Kholosa Biyana, Molatelo Sebata
Not in Match-Day squad:
Koketso Tlailane (injured)