Kgatlana’s Goal Crushes Italy’s Hopes in Women’s World Cup Clash

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FIFA Women's World Cup
FIFA Women's World Cup

Bayana Bayana of South Africa recorded an emphatic 3-2 win over Italy in a historic moment in Wellington pick their first-ever win and round of 16 qualification in the FIFA Women’s World Cup (WWC) ongoing in Australia and New Zealand.  

South Africa Thembi Kgatlana’s stoppage-time goal, an own-goal from Italy’s defender Benedetta Orsi, and Hilda Magaia’s fantastic strike were enough to seal historic qualification for the African team who joins the Super Falcons of Nigeria in the knockout stage.

Italy, the 2019 quarter-finalists took a giant step to reach the knockout stage, but Ariana Caruso’s brace was unable to take Le Azzurre through.

Caruso fired her side ahead via the penalty spot in the 11th minute after Karabo Dhlamini fouled Chiara Beccari’s in the 18-yard box.

Shockingly, the Banyana Banana pulled parity in the 32nd minute courtesy of defender Orsi’s own goal which boosted the confidence of Desiree Ellis’ charges to dumb the Italians.

In a match where both teams needed a win to cement a place in the next stage, South Africa did not relent in their efforts to haunt the defense of their opponent with their skillful play to grab more goals.

This yielded results when Magaia connected Kgatlana’s pass to put her side ahead 22 minutes into the second half.

However, Le Azzurre drew level in the 74th minute through Carusso to send the gathered fans into wild jubilation, but their joy was short-lived when Kgatlana broke the hearts of many Italian fans when she gently slotted in Magaia’s brilliant cross in the 92nd minute.

With qualification out of sight, Le Azzure mounted pressure on Bayana Bayana but goalkeeper Kaylin Swart kept her cool and made some beautiful saves to maintain the 3-2 scoreline.

With pains, and tears rolling down their cheeks, Italy will disappointedly head back home after two losses and one win in the 2023 FIFA WWC.

Coach Ellis led her side to finish second in Group G with four points.

South Africa will slug it out with the 2019 finalists the Netherlands at the Sydney Football Stadium in Australia on Sunday, August 6.

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