Johannesburg - The South African women's national soccer team shook off their rustiness with a commendable 2-2 draw against the highly-rated New Zealand Women's National team in a friendly match played at the Larnaca Sports Ground in Cyprus on Saturday, ahead of the start of the annual Cyprus Women's Cup.
Banyana Banyana, who last played a competitive match against Botswana in December, fought back from an early goal down against the towering Black Caps ladies to equalise through winger Mary Ntsweng with the impressive Jermaine Seoposenwe netting the second goal on a rebound after the New Zealand goalkeeper had saved Janine van Wyk's fierce shot to give Banyana a deserved lead.
With Banyana heading for a famous win, New Zealand grabbed an equaliser towards the end of the match through an own goal, off the hip of Banyana Banyana defender Nothando Vilakazi to make the final score 2-2.
"We looked shaky and very rusty early on which was understandable as we haven't played competitively in nearly three months but I was glad to see the girls gain confidence and play to instructions as the match progressed and then go on to hold this good New Zealand side," said coach Joseph Mkhonza.
"Having arrived in Cyprus last Tuesday, we've quickly managed to familiarise ourselves with the usually chilly conditions we face in the mornings and evenings while the tactical training we have implemented on the girls seems to be progressing nicely thus far."
South Africa play their opening match against South Korea on Wednesday.