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Narrow shutout victory over Tunisia sends South Africa to WAFCON semifinals and FIFA World Cup

South Africa’s Banyana Banyana booked a spot in the 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations as well as the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup after shutting out Tunisia 1-0 on Thursday in Rabat. Jermaine Seoposenwe scored the game’s lone goal in the first half to set up a semifinal clash against Zambia on Monday. Tunisia will face Senegal in the repechage round to try and earn a spot in the World Cup qualifying intercontinental playoff.

Banyana Banyana dominated the early exchanges and it appeared that they would cruise to a comfortable victory. Nombula Kgoale curled her first time shot attempt over the bar in the 12th minute after receiving a cross from Thalea Smidt but a couple of minutes later South Africa would take the lead. A pass towards the Tunisian penalty area deflected off defender Chaima Alabassi and Seoposenwe took the ball down well before slotting her finish past onrushing Tunisia goalkeeper Soulaima Jabrani.

Tunisia showed they were no pushovers and created a couple of chances to equalize before halftime. Leila Maknoun drew a save from South Africa keeper Andile Dlamini in the 25th minute and forward Sabrine Ellouzi’s effort was deflected wide soon before halftime. Dlamini fumbled a 52nd minute free kick delivery from Samia Ouni and slapped the ball away before another Tunisian attacker was able to latch on to the loose ball.

South Africa had a few clear opportunities to put the match away but Noxolo Cesane and substitute Melinda Kgadiete both missed the target on shots from inside the Tunisian penalty area. In the end Banyana Banyana were able to hold off Tunisia’s attempts to get back in the match and a late penalty kick shout was dismissed by Rwandan referee Salima Mukansanga before the final whistle allowed a relieved South African side to celebrate what will be their second consecutive appearance at the World Cup.

Highlights are below.

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