Cyprus Cup: South Africa to face Belgium in placement match

Banyana Banyana earn impressive draw against Korea DPR in Cyprus Women's Cup
Banyana Banyana earn impressive draw against Korea DPR in Cyprus Women's Cup. Photo: SAFA

South Africa will meet Belgium in the fifth-place playoff on Wednesday after finishing second in Cyprus Women’s Cup Group C.

Banyana Banyana extended their unbeaten run with an impressive draw against Korea DPR in their final group match on Monday.

Coach Desiree Ellis made four changes to the lineup that beat Hungary, tweaking the back four for the first time in the tournament.

Lebohang Ramalepe and Nothando Vilakazi made way for Regina Mogolola and Leandra Smeda, who made a positional switch from midfield to left back.

Sduduzo Dlamini was replaced by Linda Motlhalo, returning to the lineup after the opener against Slovakia.

Keeper Kaylin Swart also got a nod, becoming the third goalkeeper to suit up in the tournament after Andile Dlamini and Roxanne Barker.

South Africa, ranked 54th in the world, went toe-to-toe with the world’s eleventh-ranked nation in the entertaining stalemate.

The draw denied Korea DPR a spot in the final as they finished top of Group C on seven points like Group A and B winners Italy and Spain but with an inferior goal difference.

The North Koreans will therefore face reigning Cyprus Cup champions Switzerland, who finished second in Group A, in the third-place match.

The Belgians sealed a date with Banyana Banyana after finishing second in Group B courtesy of a 2–0 win over Euro 2017 semi-finalists Austria in their last group match.

Goals by Jana Coryn and Heleen Jaques on either side of the break fired the Red Flames to their first victory following a draw with Spain and a defeat to Czech Republic.

The Spaniards meet Italy in the final after downing Czech Republic 2–0 in their final group match on goals by Irende Paredes and Alexia Putellas.

Italy came back from behind twice to snatch a 2–2 draw and storm to the final.

Manuela Giugliano converting from the spot with four minutes on the clock to net the equaliser and extend Italy’s unbeaten run.

Lineup

Banyana XI (v Korea DPR): Kaylin Swart (GK), Regina Mogolola, Leandra Smeda, Bambanani Mbane, Janine van Wyk (c), Refiloe Jane (Chantelle Esau), Rachel Sebati (Nompumelelo Nyandeni), Kgaelebane Mohlakoana (Jermaine Seoposenwe), Melinda Kgadiete (Noko Matlou), Linda Motlhalo, Thembi Kgatlana

Subs: Andile Dlamini (GK), Roxanne Barker (GK), Nothando Vilakazi, Noko Matlou, Zanele Nhlapho, Nompumelelo Nyandeni, Sduduzo Dlamini, Jermaine Seoposenwe, Lebohang Ramalepe, Chantelle Esau

Placement matches (Wed 7 March)

Final: Italy v Spain
Third Place: North Korea v Switzerland
Fifth Place: South Africa v Belgium
Seventh Place: Wales v Austria
Ninth Place: Slovakia v Czech Republic
Eleventh Place: Hungary v Finland

Monday 5 March Day 2 Roundup

Group A
Finland 2–2 Italy
Switzerland 0–0 Wales

Group B
Belgium 2–0 Austria
Spain 2–0 Czech Republic

Group C
South Africa 0–0 Korea DPR
Hungary 1–1 Slovakia

Final Group Standings

Group A
1) Italy: 7pts (+6)
2) Switzerland: 4pts (+1)
3) Wales: 4pts (-2)
4) Finland: 1pt (-5)

Group B
1) Spain: 7pts (+4)
2) Belgium: 4pts (+1)
3) Austria: 3pts (-2)
4) Czech Republic: 3pts (-3)

Group C
1) Korea DPR: 7pts (+3)
2) South Africa: 5pts (+1)
3) Slovakia: 2pts (-1)
4) Hungary: 1pt (-3)

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