Bantwana in the World Cup

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Bantwana in the World Cup

THE SouthernTIMES Mar 19, 2018

    > Thandisizwe Mgudlwa

    Cape Town – Bantwana, the South African Women Under-17 National soccer team, will participate in the fifa Junior World Cup in Uruguay after an emphatic 6-1 aggregate win against their Moroccan counterpart last Saturday.   

    Bantwana, which means children in Xhosa, only but sealed a berth in the world showpiece after romping to a comfortable 5-1 first leg victory at Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg, two weeks ago. Despite Morocco’s spirited fight at home in the return match, Bantwana’s passage to South America was never in doubt.

    In a match played at Stade Boubker Ammar in Sale, Morocco, the South African visitors were always comfortable. In fact, Bantwana could have won by a bigger margin. But wasted countless glaring chances in the first-half.

    Coach Simphiwe Dludlu made two forced changes from the first leg line up, bringing in Khunjulwa Mali and Sibulele Holweni in the only two changes from the first leg starting 11.

    And it was Holweni whose magical goal separated the two teams in the tightly contested second leg. 

    The goal came midway through the second half although Bantwana finished the stronger of the two in the first half.

    Holweni scored in the 68th minute to calm the visitors’ nerves after her long-range shot on a volley gave the Moroccan keeper no chance to all but put Bantwana on the plane to South America.

    Holweni came to the party again, with an individual effort to complete a memorable day for the South Africans.

    The World Cup will take place from 13 November to 1 December in Uruguay.

    Meanwhile, South African Football Association President, Dr Danny Jordaan, sent a congratulatory message to Bantwana for making the country proud.

    “I am really proud of your achievements; going to the FIFA World Cup is the pinnacle of any football player’s achievements and you have done so in style.

    “I promised you to go to Spain as part of your preparations and this will happen. It is part of us saying thank you and well done,” said Jordaan.

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