A thrilling 2-2 draw against Zambia at Orlando Stadium on Saturday was enough to see the South African women’s U20 side (Basetsana) progress to the first round of the Fifa U20 2020 Women’s World Cup qualifiers.
Zambia took the lead in the 3rd minute through Siomala Mapepa. However, it didn’t take long for the home side to hit back as Chelsea Daniel scored for Basetsana 15 minutes later to make it 1-1.
With 20 minutes left in the game, the visitors went ahead again as Oseke Lubanji beat the Basetsana shot-stopper from close range.
Coach Jabulile Baloyi’s girls showed character as Zethembiso Vilakazi found the equaliser in the 81st minute, just 3 minutes after being on the pitch.
As a result, Basetsana beat Zambia 4-2 on aggregate in the preliminary round over 2 legs and will next face neighbours Botswana in the next round of the qualifiers.
Botswana won 9-0 on aggregate against Namibia.
The first round, first leg matches of the U20 World Cup qualifiers will take place later next month.
Coach Baloyi said the plan was to start on a high especially since they were playing at home. “They put us under pressure, playing long balls behind us as a result they scored.
“Credit to the team to say that we are building on, the players actually have character to come back twice in a match. We know for sure that we are meeting Botswana and our first match is away from home,” added the SA U20 Women’s coach.
”Seemingly as we progress in the competition, all our games are away games before we come home so we need to tighten our defending strategy and how we play when we are away and the approach when we are at home.”
By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi