Heartbreak for Banyana in Cyprus

Banyana Banyana slumped to a second consecutive defeat on Monday afternoon as 10-women Czech Republic came from a goal down in the last ten minutes to win 2-1.

Group A in the Cyprus Cup does not provide pretty reading at all from a South African perspective with the team destined to finish last, barring an extraordinary loss by Finland later on Monday.

Coach Desiree Ellis made four changes to the side that disappointingly lost 4-1 to Korea DPR on Friday. Andile Dlamini reprised her role in goal, while Kholosa Biyana, Amanda Mthandi and Rhoda Mulaudzi earned starting spots.

It all went to plan at first as Mamello Makhabane netted in the 17th minute. Ellis would have been ecstatic with the fast start after sluggish kick-offs in the last two games. It only got more promising as Andrea Jarchovska was sent off for the Czechs towards the end of the first half.

The Europeans would ring the changes shortly after the break as they pushed for an equaliser. Banyana held firm for most of the half but just as victory looked to be in touching distance, Kamila Dubcová struck on the 81st minute. By the 89th she had doubled her tally and completed the South African heartbreak.

Ellis’s side will now likely compete in either the 11th-place or 9th-place match of the Cyprus Cup on Wednesday – their last chance to chase that elusive win in the competition.

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Luke Feltham
Luke Feltham is a features writer at the Mail & Guardian

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