South Africa Make Progress To The Round Of 16

Bayana Bayana of South Africa in a jubilant mood

South Africa has gone through to the last 16 of the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup to the detriment of Italy, who only needed a draw to qualify.

Thembi Kgatlana won the game for her country, but the Italians were held to a draw by Arianna Caruso in the 74th minute. On Sunday, August 6 in Sydney, South Africa will now face the Netherlands in the last 16; which starts off 3am.

On Wednesday 2 August 2023, South Africa have reached at the knockout stages for the first time in a Women’s World Cup, before a packed people of 14,967 at the Sky Arena.

Thembi Kgatlana scored a last-wheeze winner to give South Africa their very first Women’s World Cup win with a 3-2 win over Italy that sent them through to the last 16 of the competition.

Striker Kgatlana struck two minutes into stoppage time to send her team to Sydney for a clash with the Netherlands on Sunday and broke the hearts of the Italians, who couldn’t advance to the next stage.

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When Arianna Caruso scored from a corner in the 74th minute, Italy appeared to have earned the necessary draw, but a series of late missed chances left them regretting what could have been.

The Italians had opened the scoring when Karabo Dhlamini stumbled Italy forward Chiara Beccari right inside the box in the 10th minute and Caruso converted the penalty with a sure shot into the base left corner.

South Africa leveled in the 32nd minute through an own goal from Benedetta Orsi, who didn’t check where goalkeeper Francesca Durante was prior to making a back pass.

Kgatlana’s precise inside pass found Hildah Magaia free behind the defensive line in the 67th minute, and the forward swept it into the net to give Banyana Banyana the lead for the first time.

Seven minutes later, Caruso scored from a corner kick when the ball caught her hip in a goalmouth scramble and ricocheted into the bottom right corner of the net.

Magaia’s pass found Kgatlana in the box, and the striker smashed the ball into the net to secure second place in the group behind Sweden. In a frantic final, it appeared that Italy might hold on for a draw.

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