Banyana duo lifts Scottish title

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Two South African internationals have made history in Scotland.

Janine van Wyk and Ode Fulutudilu have lifted the Scottish Women’s Premier League title with Glasgow City.

Goals from Hayley Lauder and Niamh Farrelly saw the defending champions seal their 14th consecutive league title at the Broadwood Stadium with a 2-0 win against arch-rivald Glasgow Rangers.

Going into the match, City were three points clear of their only remaining challengers Glasgow Celtic knowing that just one more point would be enough.

The home side started well and they created the first opening of the game after four minutes. Some nice play by Hayley Lauder and Ode Fulutudilu on the right allowed the former to cross and the ball broke to Julia Molin 25 yards out, but her strike was off target.

They didn’t have to wait long to settle the nerves of the City supporters at home and in the stands as nine minutes later, Priscila Chinchilla played Lauder through and, from a tight angle, she fired the ball across Megan Cunningham in the Rangers box and into the far corner, 1-0.

Rangers grew more into the match and Brogan Hay had their first chance when she broke forward and tried to force the ball past Lee Alexander at her near post, but it was easy for the City keeper to turn away.

Just after the half hour mark, Chelsea Cornet was given a yellow card for a foul on Chinchilla about 35 yards from goal. This time Lauder turned provider as she whipped a delicious ball into the box for Niamh Farrelly, completely unmarked, to head home from six yards and double the home side’s advantage, 2-0.

A few minutes later, Rangers had a freekick of their own on the left-hand side, but Carly Girasoli could only head wide.

Lauder did have one more chance before half time after a City corner broke clear, but Cunningham managed to save her effort.

City started the second half in the same vein as the first and they won a free kick on the edge of the box. Lauder’s ball in was perfect for Jenna Clark, but Brianna Westrup nipped in to flick it wide for a corner.

Lauder then found half time sub Nicole Robertson from the corner, but she could only head over the bar.

Rangers’ best chance of the match came on the hour mark when Nicola Docherty’s cross from the left bounced over Alexander and found Zoe Ness free, six yards out, but somehow, she diverted the ball over the bar before the offside flag went up.

With time against them, Emma Brownlie did have one last chance for Rangers with a fantastic effort from the edge of the box which cracked the crossbar.

Van Wyk played the entire 90 minutes while Fulutudilu lasted 45 minutes in the match.

The Banyana Banyana stars are the first South Africans in history to lift the Scottish title. They joined City at the beginning of the season and established themselves as key members of the squad.

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By Prince Sobayeni

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