Bafana Bafana

Banyana hammered by Norway in final WC warm-up game

Banyana Banyana (Supplied)
Banyana Banyana (Supplied)

Cape Town - Banyana Banyana went down 7-2 in an international friendly match against Norway on Sunday at Stade Moulonguet in Amiens, France.

A five goal blitz in the first half gave the Europeans a 5-0 lead at the break.

The fixture was the last leg of preparations for the two countries ahead of the start of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

Head coach Desiree Ellis had made several changes to the squad that started against the USA last month in Santa Clara, California.

Six players were not been considered for this encounter - Van Wyk, Mamello Makhabane, Leandra Smeda and goalkeeper Kaylin Swart - all have niggling injuries, while Nompumelelo Nyandeni and Ongeziwe Ndlangisa are the standby players.

A delay in kick-off time had Banyana on the back-foot early and it showed, while the Europeans showed their prowess in the early stages as they went into an early lead.

It was no surprise when Norway took the lead in the 7th minute through Graham Hansen.

Banyana Banyana came close to finding an equaliser four minutes later when defender Lebohang Ramalepe fired a long-range shot cum cross but Ingrid Hjelmseth was alert in the Norway goal.

The Europeans increased their lead in the 19th minute through Lisa-Marie Utland – and what followed was a goal-blitz that took the game away from South Africa, with Utland grabbing her brace in the 21st minute and Isabell Herlovsen scoring the fourth in just 22 minutes.

It could have been worse had Andile Dlamini not pulled off some great saves in the Banyana Banyana goals.

At half time it was 5-0 to Norway after Herlovsen found the back of the net just two minutes before the break.

Ellis’ charges tried to stage a fight back in the second stanza, with midfielder Kholosa Biyana pulling one back in the 52nd minute.

But the celebrations had hardly died down when Moe Wold score a minute later to make it 6-1.

In the 66th minute Thembi Kgatlana, who was giving Norway a lot of problems with her pace, set up Amanda Mthandi to tap in for the Banyana Banyana’s second of the day.

The Europeans had the last say five minutes before the final whistle as second half substitute Emilie Nautness scored the 7th to hand her side a 7-2 victory.

In nine warm-up matches before the start of the World Cup, Banyana Banyana are yet to win a game – something of a concern to Ellis.

They have already faced Sweden, Netherlands, Finland twice, Korea DPR, Czech Republic, Jamaica, USA and now Norway.

The squad has already arrived in Le Havre to complete their preparations for the first of the tournament against Spain on Saturday, 8 June at Stade Océane.

The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off on Friday, June 7 and will come to an end on the July 7.

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