• Thursday, June 20, 2024
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African representatives suffer defeat in group opener


Two of Africa’s representative at the ongoing 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup South Africa and Zambia suffered defeat in their group opener against Sweden and Japan respectively.

African champions, Banyana Banyana
looked on course for a famous result after Hildah Magaia’s strike put them ahead early in the second half.

Magaia slotted home to spark early scenes of jubilation among South African fans after Thembi Kgatlana’s shot was parried into her path.

However, Sweden came back late into the game to deny the African champions with a 2-1 win.

Banyana Banyana’s hopes of claiming their first ever Women’s World Cup point were dashed by a late Swedish fightback in Wellington on Sunday.

Fridolina Rolfo leveled midway through the second period before Amanda Ilestedt’s stoppage time header snatched a 2-1 comeback win.

Read also: Women’s World Cup: Nigeria up against co-host Australia Thursday

The defeat means the wait for Banyana’s first World Cup point goes on after this cruel twist.

Elsewhere, Zambia’s hopes of a dream start to their maiden Women’s World Cup campaign were shattered after a 5-0 defeat by former champions Japan on Saturday.

The Copper Queens who defeated Nigeria’s Super Falcons to a third lace finish in the last African Women’s Cup of Nations were thrashed by the more clinical 2011 winners in Hamilton in their Group C clash.

A brace from striker Hinata Miyazawa set the foundations for the rout, with Mina Tanaka, Jun Endo and Riko Ueki also finding the net for the rampant Nadeshiko.

Tanaka saw two of her strikes ruled out by VAR before sweeping home just after half-time to further break Zambian hearts.

She then turned provider for Miyazawa to tap-in and make it 3-0 after adding a second herself.

Endo’s solo brilliance extended the advantage before Ueki scored a retaken penalty after Zambia keeper Catherine Musonda saw red for fouling her.