Banyana Banyana are one step closer to the Café Africa Women’s Cup of Nations, having won Algeria 2-0 in the first leg of the final qualifying round at Orlando Stadium on Friday.
Goals in each half from Hilda Magaia and Thembi Kgatlana respectively sealed victory for the hosts, but the margin could have been much wider had they not played for the goals.
Banyana had a good start to the game, Magaia had a chance just after 10 minutes, but the winger’s header didn’t stop Algeria shot stop Yamina N’Gazi on the posts.
The home side finally got the breakthrough, this time Magaia made good contact with the ball and headed it through the back of the net into the 40e minute, thanks to a well-taken corner from Kholosa Biyana, as they went into the break in the driver’s seat.
In the opening five minutes of the second half, Banyana had some glorious opportunities, Thembi Kgatlana beating Algeria’s defenders with speed, only to save her shot, while Biyana’s promising set piece was saved from outside the box by N’gazi.
Algeria, with seven players starting in France, such as Sylia Koui and Ikram Adjabi, struggled to break through the Banyana defence, while the hosts looked quite comfortable in the back.
But in the last fifteen minutes keeper Andile Dlamini saw the ball land badly on Adjabi’s feet, but the striker’s shot was stopped by Bambanani Mbane, with Dlamini off her posts.
Chance after chance for Banyana to double their lead, but they still couldn’t get their shots right and when they did, N’gazi was well positioned. But in the later stages of the game, a cross from Gabriela Salgado from the left was caught by Kgatlana in the penalty area and the striker made no mistake and shot the ball into the net to seal the win.
Banyana will try to get the job done and book their spot in the continental tournament by winning the second tournament to be played on the 23 in Algiers.rd from February.