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South Africa earns first trip to Women’s World Cup

November 27, 2018

South Africa earned its first trip to the Women’s World Cup with a 2-0 semifinal victory over Mali in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Accra, Ghana.

Forward Thembi Kgatlana, who also plays for the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League, scored in the 31st minute to put South Africa out in front before Lebohang Ramalepe’s goal sealed it with 10 minutes left. It was Kgatlana’s fifth goal of the tournament.

Banyana Banyana, as the team is known, will play Nigeria in Saturday’s final. Nigeria also secured a spot in the World Cup in France next summer, advancing on penalties after a scoreless draw against Cameroon earlier Tuesday at Accra Sports Stadium.

South Africa has made the field for the past two Olympic Games but has not advanced out of the group stage. The team’s captain is Janine van Wyk, who also plays for the Dash.

Nigeria will make its eighth World Cup appearance.

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