By Sizakelep Nkosi
South Africa squared up against Nigeria in final qualifiers for 2016 U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea in the Makhulong stadium, Tembisa.
Basetsana lost courtesy of a Chinwendu Ihezuo goal early on the first half to secure a 3-1 aggregate win and ultimately booking their tickets to the world cup.
As early as the second minute, a missed tackle by defender Drishana Pillay almost cost the host team a goal but fellow defenders and subsequently the goalkeeper managed to quell the danger.
The visitors showed their dominance which pressured the home team that the it almost took Basetsana forever to settle down. However, Nigeria never allowed South Africa to play their normal passing game and that saw a belabored South Africa Basetsena take 11 minutes before they could get the ball out of their own half.
In the 12th minute, Thembi Kgatlana spotted a free Gabriela Salgado in the box but Salgado’s toiled in vain as she was about to shoot.
But it wasn’t long before talisman, Chinwendu Ihezuo gave Nigeria the lead following a defensive error.
In the 30th minute, Linda Motlhalo squandered what would have been an equalizer for the home side as her shot was blocked by a very alert Sandra Chiichii in goal.
Coach Elisabeth Migchelsen charges came back into the second half with some vigour to search for the equalizer but that vigor only lasted for roughly 10 minutes.
The South Africans tried to string passes without any success as Nigeria’s defense stood firm and the early goal proved to be enough to seal the game for the visitors.
The 2016 women’s world cup will be hosted by debutantes Papua New Guinea with the date to be decided.
Basetsana of South Africa: Mpuru (GK), Daweti, Makhubela, van Reyneveldt, Motlhalo, Kgatlana, Motau, Salgado, Pillay, Gamede, Smidt
Subs: Shozi, Makhoali, Dekeda, Ngobeni (GK), Sikweza, Moremi, Witbooi.
Coach: Elisabeth Migchelsen
Falconets of Nigeria: Chiichii (GK) (C), Ogbonna, Ukwuoma, Eminayo, Oluwatosin, Ihezuo, Kanu, Bokiri, Ologbosere, Kalu, Onyembuchi
Subs: Famuditi, Elijah, Igbinovia, Uchendu, Biahwo, Ohiaeriku, Yakubu.
Coach: Peter Dedevbo