Cape Town - Banyana Banyana suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of The Netherlands in an international friendly match played at the Mandemakers Stadium in Waalwijk on Saturday.
This was the first of two clashes between the two nations as the South Africans are preparing for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Banyana Banyana started the match slowly, giving respect to their much-fancied opponents.
Defender Noko Matlou conceded a foul on the edge of the box and from the resultant free-kick Netherlands captain Sherida Spitse flew the ball past the South African wall and goalkeeper Roxanne Barker to take a 1-0 lead just four minutes into the match.
From then on the visitors played catch-up and could not get their passes together.
Towards the end of the first half, Banyana Banyana came back strongly into the match and started to compete equally.
The second stanza proved even much better, especially with the introduction of forwards Jermaine Seoposenwe and Linda Motlhalo for Sanah Mollo and Thembi Kgatlana just after the break.
The combination of the two subs kept The Netherlands defence busy.
Bongiwe Thusi earned her first Banyana Banyana cap when she was brought on late in the match to replace Stephanie Malherbe.
Seoposenwe went on a solo run through the opponents but lost the ball as she ran out of space.
In referee’s optional time, Motlhalo also did the same and was brought down on the edge of the box.
Captain Janine van Wyk took the freekick and her powerful shot was parried to the side by Loes Geurts in the Netherlands goal – perhaps South Africa’s best chance of an equaliser.
It ended 1-0 to The Netherlands.
Despite the loss, Banyana Banyana were not disgraced as they gave a good account of themselves.
The second match is scheduled for Tuesday, 7 June at 19:00 at the same venue.