By FOCUS REPORTER
THE NATIONAL Under-17’s women team, Bantwana started their 2010 FIFA World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago on a poor note after losing 3-1 to Korea Republic
This Group B clash at the Whight Yorke Stadium on Sunday night, September 5 saw Bantwana who are guided by caretaker coach, Solly Luvhengo missing a number of scoring opportunities including a penalty which was missed by Mapula Kgoale who ballooned the ball over the bars.
This was after Jermain Seoposenwe was fouled in the danger box.
Undeterred, the SA side continued to attack and looked to be causing the Koreans fits with their pace through midfield and up front. After 23 minutes, Seoposenwe was clean through again, but her teasing low cross failed to find a target as it rolled across the goal box. Seven minutes later the lively striker was sent in on goal again, but her first touch let her down and the Korean defenders were able to hoof the ball to safety.
The South Koreans responded in the 32nd minute with their first shot on goal, but Kaylin Swart’s diving save kept Lee Jungeun from opening the scoring.
The game began to develop an end-to-end feel as the first half ground to a close, and the East Asians were hitting their rhythm. Early substitute Yeo Min Ji – who hit the crossbar just seconds before – beat the offside trap to stroke home from close range eight minutes from the break.
The second half was only eight minutes old when the South Africans gave their new fans something to shout about. After taking the ball down brilliantly on her chest, Robyn Moodaly raced through midfield and laid on a sharp through ball for Seoposenwe. The striker made no mistake this time, curling her shot around Kim Minah, and the roar from the crowd only intensified when the Bantwana girls celebrated with the same dance.
The crowd was promptly quieted, though, when Yeo grabbed her second of the game three minutes later to make it 2-1 for the Asians.
Try as they might, the spirited Africans were unable to haul themselves back into the match, and Shin Damyeong sealed the deal with a header from a well-placed corner kick 12 minutes from the end.
The South Africans’ next test is on Wednesday, September 8 against the mighty Germany, who top the group after hammering Mexico 9-0 in the earlier match while the Koreans will take on the struggling Mexico later that same day.
Meanwhile Banyana Banyana lost 2-0 to Cameroon in a friendly international match played at Moruleng Stadium, North West on Sunday.
The match was part of their preparations for the forthcoming 7th African Women Championships to be hosted in the country next month.