South Africa’s Banyana Banyana created numerous chances on their way to a 3-1 victory over Burundi in Group C at the 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations on Thursday. Goals from Thembi Kgatlana, Amogelang Motau and Linda Motlhalo kept South Africa at the top of the group ahead of their final group stage match against Botswana on Sunday. Competition debutants Burundi wrap up their slate of fixtures against Nigeria and the heavy underdogs will need a win to have any chance of advancing to the quarterfinals.
Banyana Banyana were clearly the more talented side but despite launching waves of attacks the Burundian team resisted admirably. However, South Africa would find their opening goal in the 20th minute when the speedy Kgatlana got behind the Burundian high defensive line and bore down on goal, laying a pass to Noxolo Cesane before receiving the ball back to finish with ease.
Ten minutes later a shock Burundi equalizer came out of nowhere. Captain Asha Djafari has shown her quality despite Burundi’s defeats and did excellently to turn Banyana defender Noko Matlou on the dribble to drive in on goal from the left wing. Drawing goalkeeper Andile Dlamini out, Djafari tapped a low ball across the six-yard box to set up an easy finish for Aniella Uwimana.
However, two minutes later it was South Africa who snatched the lead back thanks to excellent work from Kgatlana who caused chaos with her dribbling run on the right wing, which led to a scramble in the penalty area before Motau fired in from ten yards out. Burundi goalkeeper Jeanine Irakoze did brilliantly to deny a penalty kick attempt from Jermaine Seoposenwe just before halftime but it only delayed the arrival of South Africa’s third goal, which came from the penalty spot from Motlhalo in the 54th minute after Irakoze tripped up Kgatlana. Somehow Burundi managed to keep South Africa at three goals despite a 72nd minute red card thanks to wasteful finishing from Banyana Banyana.
Highlights are below.