Banyana Banyana return home after a historic stint in World Cup

Banyana Banyana as they prepare to leave France [image: Banyana Banyana/Twitter]

While many might be trying to deal with Banyana Banyana being kicked out of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup after being defeated 4-0 by Germany, we have chosen to focus on the fact that the South African Women’s national team broke barriers by even participating in this historic event.

The ladies in green and gold put South African women’s football on the map. After becoming runners up to Nigeria in the 2018 African Women’s Cup of Nations, Banyana Banyana achieved a first by qualifying to represent the nation in this year’s Women’s World Cup in France.

Banyana Banyana v Falcons at 2018 AWCON [image: Busy Buddies]
Banyana Banyana put their best foot forward and showed the world what perseverance, sportsmanship, determination and character looked like throughout the tournament.

Although they experienced several disappointments in the tournament, they surprised viewers with their quality of play against the three big teams they faced: China, Spain and Germany. They stood their ground, fought hard and left the tournament having scored two goals in two matches.

The squad training [image: Banyana Banyana/Twitter]
Many of the giants in the tournament unabashedly displayed their prowess even in the face of teams that hug the bottom 20 of the world rankings. Case in point: world number one, USA, defeated world number 34, Thailand, 13-0 on 11 June. This let the world know that the competition would be tight and no holds would be barred.

It also let us know that Banyana Banyana, though ranked 49th in the world, had shown great skill against the teams they faced, especially as Spain and China rank 13th and 16th in the world respectively.

The ladies may not have been able to make it to the round of 16, but their first attempt at the Women’s World Cup was one that will go down in history as a proud moment for South Africa.

Cameroon and Nigeria were the other African teams in the tournament. They are still in the running, fighting for a spot in the round of 16. Although Nigeria was defeated 1-0 by France, they made it through the group stages having won one game and lost two. Cameroon’s match against New Zealand on Thursday will determine whether or not they will make it to the next round as both teams are tied at two losses each.

To the ladies in green and gold, you have represented us well to the world. We do not see defeat, we see how champions are made. For that we are so proud and grateful that you to have had you as our representatives. Now the rest of the world knows what we’ve known for a while now: Banyana Banyana has the heart, talent and skills to play in the same league as them. Welcome home, our champions.

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