BANYANA Banyana played to a 1-1 draw against Ghana in their second group B African Women’s Championship match in Windhoek, Namibia on Wednesday night.
Coach Vera Pauw made only one change to the team that narrowly lost to Cameroon in the first match on Sunday. Nompumelelo Nyandeni, who registered her 100th cap in national team colours started ahead of Refiloe Jane in the middle of the park.
Nyandeni put on an amazing performance and was voted the Player of the match.
Banyana started off determined knowing the importance of collecting maximum points. They looked dangerous with veteran striker Portia Modise and Shiwe Nogwanya occasionally threatening upfront.
Captain Janine Van Wyk marshalled the defence with authority, making great tackles and kicking the ball out of danger on more than one occasion in the opening 15 minutes of the match.
With Modise and Nogwanya not allowing the Black Stars of Ghana defenders to bully them, Banyana got the opening goal in the 18th minute. Nogwanya capitalised on the Ghanaian keeper’s mistake of spilling the ball in the box from Mamello Makhabane’s shot from a set-piece.
Nogwanya made no mistake as she popped up to put the hard running Banyana in the lead.
The South Africans showed great fighting spirit as they continued to push forward with urgency to get the second goal. Makhabane came close to doubling the lead in the 31st minute with a shot from just outside the box, but the Ghana keeper was alert and parried the ball out of danger.
Ghana levelled the score in optional time, after Elizabeth Cudjoe connected well with a cross from their captain Leticia Zikpi in the box, slotting one past Roxanne Barker.
The tempo in the second half seemed to have slowed down a bit as both teams pushed for the elusive winner.
South Africa face Algeria in their last match of group B this coming Saturday at 5pm in which anything less than victory will see them eliminated from a place in the World Cup.