2023 FIFA WWC: South Africa strike late to seal first ever 2nd round spot as they send Italy home

South Africa made history with a stunning 3-2 victory over Italy on Wednesday, August 2, at the Women’s World Cup (WWC) as they secured a spot in the knockout stages.

The Europeans were on the verge of reaching the knockout stages before Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana struck in injury time to spark wild celebrations as the Africans sealed a historic second round qualification for the first time ever.

The 3-2 win sent South Africa through at Italy’s expense, with Sweden topping Group G with a maximum nine points after beating Argentina 2-0 in the group’s other game.

Hildah Magaia and match-winner Thembi Kgatlana in particular, shone for South Africa, demonstrating blistering pace and fantastic execution in front of the goal.

The African champions led 2-1 with Magaia’s strike in the 67th minute, but Kgatlana’s late strike proved the difference after Italy fought back to level with a Arianna Caruso header.

Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana’s stoppage time goal seals first World Cup win and 2nd round spot for South Africa

A draw would have been enough to take Italy into the knockout round but South Africa edged the side with a point. The Africans finished on 4 points, behind group leaders Sweden.

There were scenes of jubilation and excitement for the South Africa players when the final whistle confirmed they had made history for their nations as they join the Super Falcons of Nigeria as the African sides confirmed to play in the next round.

South Africa’s Bayana Bayana will play Group E winners the Netherlands in the last 16 on Sunday, August 6 while Sweden face defending Champions, USA.

Nigeria will face European Champions, England on Monday, August 7.

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