Banyana Banyana continue making a name for themselves in women’s football as they go from strength to strength, and last week they took on former world champions, Japan…
Check out some of the Banyana action in the gallery above!
On the back of their first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup appearance earlier in the year, Desiree Ellis’ side are hoping to keep up their current level of growth as they seek to compete against the best – hence the reason for setting up a friendly against the Japanese.
Japan are currently ranked as the 10th-best women’s national team in world football at present, and the 2011 World Cup winners are 45 places above South Africa in the latest FIFA rankings.
Ellis’ side put on a brave showing in Fukuoka though, narrowly being defeated 2-0 thanks to goals from Lyon’s Saki Kumagai and Yuika Sugasawa of Urawa Reds, first from a set-piece and then with a bit of individual brilliance.
Meanwhile, it was a bittersweet day for midfielder, Leandra Smeda, who was on the losing side for Banyana but did become the country’s latest centurion as she made her 100th appearance for the team.
You can check out the highlights from the game - which wasn’t televised in South Africa, in the video below: