Banyana's Modise scores 100th goal, sets new African record
Striker Portia Modise scored her 99th and 100th goal for South Africa’s Banyana Banyana team at the Confederation of African Football African Women’s Championship game in Windhoek on Saturday.
Coming into the match bottom of the group, Banyana needed an assertive win to make it through to the semi-finals of the championship. The top three teams at this year’s tournament will also qualify for the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup in Canada.
Modise’s two goals five minutes into the match, and just moments before the final whistle, as well as goals by Sanah Mollo, Mamello Makhabane and Amanda Dlamini, sealed the much needed three points and goal difference for Banyana.
Afterwards, an ecstatic Modise said it was a “great feeling” to hit the 100-goal target – a feat only 12 women and one man had previously achieved.
“I slept on it yesterday, and I woke up being sure I would score those two goals – and I did, helping the team to go through to the next round. So for me, it’s a great day,” Modise told BBC Sport.
It makes the Soweto-born player – who grew up playing football in the neighbourhood and rejected netball at school in favour of the beautiful game – the most capped player in the women’s national team with 113 caps.
In an interview with the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafu) before the match, Modise described learning her skills playing street soccer as a child.
“I still cannot believe that I’m just a few goals away from reaching another milestone in national team colours, it’s a great honour and I owe it all to my teammates who over the years have been supportive”, she said.
Modise, who left national football in 2008 after a fall-out with former coach August Makalakalane, and was recalled in April 2012 by new national coach Joseph Mkhonza, praised her current boss Vera Pauw.
“I enjoy playing under coach Vera. She is open about many things and treats us like professionals footballers. She is a mother to us, it helps to have a female coach as she understands the challenges of being a women,” she told Cosafu.
She said her goals were to help South Africa qualify for the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup and then to coach the next generation of players.
South Africa will play the Group A winners Nigeria in the semi-finals with Group B, winners Cameroon taking on Côte d’Ivoire.