Cyprus Cup: Kgatlana gets 50th cap as Belgium edge Falcons

Cyprus Cup: Kgatlana gets 50th cap as Belgium edge Falcons

The final group game of the Cyprus Women’s Cup took place on Monday as reigning Africa Female footballer of the year Thembi Kgatlana makes her 50th appearance in South Africa’s loss to Czech Republic while the Super Falcons of Nigeria lost narrowly to Belgium.

On a day both the Super Falcons of Nigeria and Banyana Banyana of South Africa needed to avoid a defeat both teams lost narrowly to their opponents thereby surrendering a chance to play for a place in the top positions of this year’s Cyprus Cup.

Nigeria came into the game against Belgium with a strong line-up featuring the likes of Francisca Ordega, Asisat Oshoala, Ngozi Okobi, Rita Chikwelu, Onome Ebi, Osinachi Ohale and first choice goalkeeper, Tochukwu Oluehi after her dismissal against Austria in the first game.

The African champions however fell behind to an early goal from Elena Dhont in the 7th minute and never really recovered from the goal throughout the duration of the game.

As expected, the Oshoala led Falcons attack pressed for an equaliser but couldn’t find a way back into the game as Dhont’s early goal condemned the African champions to a second group stage defeat which ensures that they finish in third place behind Austria and Belgium in Group C of the 2019 Cyprus Women’s Cup.

For South Africa’s Thembi Kgatlana it was a bitter sweet taste as her 50th cap for her country ended in a defeat to 10 woman Czech Republic who came from a goal down to win 2-1.

The AWCON 2018 finalists had only gotten a point from their previous two games and needed a resounding result against Czech Republic to have any chance of bettering their 2018 6th place finish in this tournament but it wasn’t their day.

A first half goal from Makhabane in the first minute put the South Africans in front and it looked more like it would be a good day for them following the sending off of Czech Republic player Andrea Jarchovska after she received her second yellow of the match in the 41st minute. It was however an entirely different game in the second half.

As the rains came pouring down so also the Czech Republic players kept pouring forward hitting the cross bar on a couple occasions and also failing to capitalise on the defensive errors of the Banyana Banyana backline. But in the 81st minute their efforts finally paid off with the much needed equaliser coming through.

Despite having the numerical advantage, South Africa found it difficult dealing with their opponents and soon conceded a late second goal to hand all three points to the European side.

Just like their African counterparts, South Africa will now have to settle for a classification final game on Wednesday to determine their place in this year’s Cyprus Women’s Cup.

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