South Africa advance in Olympic qualifying

African champions South Africa have taken the next step in their bid to qualify for the Paris Olympic Games with a 2-0 win over a stubborn DR Congo on Monday for a 3-1 aggregate success in the tie.

Banyana had found it difficult to break their opponents down but scored two goals through Thembi Kgatlana.

Her first was superbly set up by Nicole Michael, who did not panic when faced with the keeper and simply slipped the ball to her unmarked teammate.

The second was also the good work of Michael, though less straightforward as her cross found Kgatlana with work to do to finish.
Michael is a new face and looks a good addition to the side, as does 21-year-old defender Lonathemba Mhlongo and 20-year-old winger Wendy Shongwe.

The 20-year-olds Asanda Hadebe and Ayesha Moosa were also in the squad, as well as 19-year-old Samkelisiwe Selana. Coach Des Ellis definitely has that next World Cup cycle to 2027 on her mind.

Banyana must await the winner of the tie between COSAFA rival Botswana and Tanzania, the latter holding a 2-0 lead from the first leg. That being said, the second game is in Gaborone on Tuesday.

Should they advance past that tricky tie, they will likely meet one of old foes Nigeria or Uganda for a place at the Olympics.

You would think it would be Nigeria, but they were shocked and held 1-1 by Ethiopia in the first leg of this round and still have some work to do to advance. Uganda are leading Cameroon 2-0 from the first leg.