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Banyana

Banyana Start COSAFA Defence With Victory

Banyana Banyana began the defence of their COSAFA Women's Championship title with a 2-1 win over Madagascar on Wednesday afternoon.

Banyana took the lead as early as the seventh minute, with Khanya Xesi finding the back of the net.

Desiree Ellis' charges continued to dominate and they were rewarded with a second goal through Nothando Vilakazi in the 19th minute.

Two minutes later, Madagascar were handed a lifeline after being awarded a penalty, which Sarah converted to reduce the deficit.

Madagascar nearly completed the comeback in the 33rd minute, but they hit the woodwork from a set-piece as Banyana were starting to look shaky at the back.

However, Banyana managed to see out the remaining stages of the half and took a slight lead into the break.

Ellis opted for her first change after 58th minute as Gabriela Salgado came on for Mohlokoana Kgaelebane.

Moments later, the South Africans nearly extended their advantage as Jermaine Seoposenwe's strike from distance rattled the crossbar.

Banyana were dealt a blow with 20 minutes remaining as debutant Thato Letsoso was sent off after picking up her second yellow card of the encounter.

Despite being a player down, Ellis' charges hung on to claim three points in their opening encounter.

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