On Sunday, with a confident 2-0 victory in Sydney, the Netherlands concluded their historic first journey in the Women’s World Cup knockout stage against South Africa.
Banana Banana was on the attack from the beginning and found their fourth goal of the tournament in the ninth minute when a failed clearance from Jill Roord landed on the head of Danielle van de Donk, who opened the net.
Despite the push, South Africans fought back and had plenty of opportunities. Captain Thembi Kgatlana was especially menacing, targeting multiple shots and only denied by a series of impressive saves from Dutch goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal.
Shortly after the start of the second half, South Africa saw a goal disallowed for offside from winger Lebohang Ramalepe.
But South Africans saw their fate sealed in the 68th minute when Lineth Beerensteyn’s easily struck strike should have been saved by Kaylin Swart’s hand and rolled into the net, with her hand in the pitch later trying to make amends.
This victory means that on Friday, in the quarterfinals at Wellington, the finalists of the 2019 tournament will face Spain’s opposition.
When South Africans head home, already having a historic tournament for their team in 2023, especially after securing their first victory in the tournament with a dramatic 3-2 win against Italy on Wednesday at Stoppage Time, Kgatlana’s theatrical triumph, this tournament became more exciting.
Banana Banana also came into this tournament with a remarkable draw against Sweden in their opener.