South Africa
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Banyana earn a crucial draw against lowly DR Congo

Banyana would be glad to have at least got an away goal in this tie, which will give them an away goal advantage going into the return leg.

Banyana Banyana had to fight their way back into the game after finding it hard to overcome Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the first leg of the Olympics qualifier, with the game ending in a 1-1 at Stade des Martyrs on Wednesday.

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Banyana went into the half-time break trailing the DRC 1-0, but they managed to level matters in the second half through Thembi Kgatlana.

The South Africans, however, would be glad to have at least got an away goal in this tie, which will give them an away goal advantage going into the return leg when they host the DRC.

As current African champions, Banyana came into this game as favourites, but found it difficult beat the DRC, who are ranked 111th in the world rankings. Banyana are ranked 45th in the latest Fifa women’s rankings.

Kgatlana made a couple of attempts at goals, but she couldn’t find the back of the net with the most notable opportunity coming in the 12th minute, but the striker couldn’t hit the target from a tight angle.

The DRC also asked some questions to their visitors, with striker Grace Mfwamba being troublesome for the Banyana defence, forcing a great save from Kaylin Swart in the 19th minute.

While Banyana were struggling to make a breakthrough, the DRC managed to opened the scoring after a beautiful play by Mfwamba led to her finding the net to put her team in the lead in the 40th minute going into half-time.

Banyana began the second half on a positive note, and they were rewarded with an equaliser within just four minutes courtesy of a Kgatlana tap-in thanks to a Nicole Michaels cross.

Gabriela Salgado could have extended the lead for Banyana, but her shot went wide in the 51st minute.

Meanwhile, the hosts were not holding back as well, and they were unfortunate to be denied by the upright just after the 70th minute.

The two teams remained solid at the back not wanting to concede a second goal, particularly the hosts, who found themselves in a bit of a pressure from Banyana.

With the game ending in a draw, the second leg which played at Orlando Stadium on 30 October will certainly be highly contested to determine which team will progress to the next round.