Historic last-gasp victory by South Africa’s Banyana Banyana over Italy at Women’s World Cup

Kgatlana’s last-minute goal granted the Banyana Banyana their first-ever Women’s World Cup win, as they triumphed over Italy 3-2, securing a spot in the tournament’s last-16 round and sending Italy packing. Kgatlana’s decisive strike occurred two minutes into stoppage time on Wednesday, setting up a future clash with the Netherlands in Sydney on Sunday, and leaving the Italians heartbroken, as they only needed a draw to advance.

The Italians seemed to salvage the draw they needed when Caruso scored from a corner in the 74th minute. However, they would later regret their missed chances in the closing moments of the game. Coach Desiree Ellis, an emotional figure who was part of the founding members of the South African women’s side in 1993, praised her team’s valiant effort, describing them as heroic warriors who would be historically remembered.

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Italy took an early lead when Caruso converted a penalty in the 10th minute, after Dhlamini fouled Italy’s forward Beccari inside the box. South Africa managed to level the score in the 32nd minute through an own goal from Orsi, who failed to check the position of goalkeeper Francesca Durante before making a back pass. The turning point came in the 67th minute, as Kgatlana’s well-placed pass found Magaia, who scored to put South Africa ahead for the first time.

Caruso struck again with her second goal from a corner in the 74th minute, seemingly securing a draw for Italy. However, in a frenetic finale, Magaia’s assist found Kgatlana in the box, and the striker confidently smashed the ball into the net, sealing South Africa’s second-place finish in the group behind Sweden and securing their historic advancement to the last-16 round.

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