In their opening match of the 2023 Women’s World Cup, the South African women’s football side suffered a close 2-1 loss against the formidable World No. 3, Sweden, on Sunday morning.
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During the game, Coach Desiree Ellis’ team put on an impressive performance, particularly in the second half when Hildah Magaia stunned the global audience with a goal in the 48th minute.
Despite the setback, Sweden demonstrated their class by mounting a comeback and narrowly defeating Banyana Banyana, thereby extinguishing hopes of a World Cup upset.
Nonetheless, Kaylin Swart, who surprisingly started as the goalkeeper against Sweden, revealed that the African champions are now more determined than ever for their upcoming group matches, having showcased their mettle against one of the world’s best teams.
“This isn’t a setback; it will only ignite our fire for the next match. We played exceptionally well and had some brilliant moments. If we carry that momentum into the next games, it will be a remarkable showing for us,” she confidently expressed to the media.
Swart also emphasized the importance of the team standing united and supporting each other in the face of their opening defeat.
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“Now is the time to stick together. I believe we can easily overcome any challenges that come our way. Tomorrow, we will rise, dust ourselves off, and push forward,” she affirmed.
Looking ahead, Desiree Ellis’ Banyana Banyana is set to face Argentina on Friday at 2 am, with the sole purpose of reigniting their chances of progressing to the knockout stages.