Banyana Banyana fall to Korea DPR in the Cyprus Cup

Banyana Banyana lost 4-1 to Korea DPR in the second match of the 2019 Cyprus Women’s Cup currently underway in Cyprus.

The Asians scored four goals in the first half with no reply from South Africa, whose solitary goal came early in the second stanza.

The clash took place at the AEK Arena in Larnaca on Friday, 1 March 2019.

Desiree Ellis made six changes to the starting line-up for this encounter, bringing in Kaylin Swart, Bambanani Mbane, Mamello Makhabane, Linda Motlhalo and Thembi Kgatlana for Andile Dlamini, Tiisetso Makhubela, Karabo Dhlamini, Nothando Vilakazi, Jermaine Seoposenwe and Busisiwe Ndimeni.

Banyana Banyana suffered an early setback when Rhoda Mulaudzi had to be replaced after she went down with a hamstring injury during the warm-up – Dhlamini took her place.

The setback continued when they conceded a goal as early as the seventh minute through Kim Yun-Mi. Korea DPR was in total control, giving Banyana Banyana no chance on the ball and making them chase shadows.

South Africa got a chance in the 11thminute when Kgatlana broke free with Motlhalo but the final shot went into the arms of the goalkeeper.

The Asians were not troubled and got their second goal just two minutes later after tearing the Banyana Banyana defence apart with their sleek and quick passing to make it 2-0, Ri Hyang-Sim the goal scorer.

Y.M. Kim found the back of the net in the 23rd minute and the score was 3-0.

It did not take long and J. Wi scored, with her second of the day and fourth for the Asians – giving them an unassailable 4-0 lead in the 35thminute to confirm a disappointing first half for Ellis’ charges.

Kgatlana could have registered her name on the score sheet two minutes later when she again broke free but she shot straight to the keeper.

Ellis made a double substitution at the start of the second half, with Kholosa Biyana and Seoposenwe replacing Dhlamini and Nyandeni.

Banyana Banyana had a better start in this stanza and competed evenly with the Asians who seemed content with managing the match and protect their lead.

In the 48thminute South Africa pulled one back with a well-taken strike by defender Lebo Ramalepe to make it 4-1.

The goal spurred them on even further and they went in search for more but to no avail.

Ellis introduced Amanda Mthandi for Kgatlana with 10 minutes remaining.

Motlhalo could have scored the second goal for Banyana Banyana bridged the Korean defence, and Mthandi laid a pass to Motlhalo who failed to find the back of the net with the keeper to beat – instead she shot wide.

It ended 4-1 to Korea and the South Africans will be the first admit that they had a bad at the office.

They had a disappointing first half – where everything fell apart, and tried to recover in the second half but it was too little too late.

The next match is on Monday, 4 March 2019 against the Czech Republic at Antonis P Stadium in Larnaca at 13h00.

In the first match of the tournament, South Africa drew 2-2 against Finland, while Korea DPR defeated Czech Republic 4-2 in Group A.

In the other Group A match, Czech Republic defeated Finland 2-1.

After two matches, Banyana Banyana is bottom of the table with just one point. Korea DPR leads the group with six points after two wins, the Czech Republic is three points adrift with Finland on one point.

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