The Bayana Bayana of South Africa will play the round of 16 of the World Cup against Netherlands. Thanks to a goal in injury time, Africa’s champion won against Italy (3-2) and ended second behind Sweden in Group G. It was the first World Cup victory ever for the number 54 in the world.
The Dutch team last played against South Africa in April last year. Then Oranje won that practice match 5-1.
Italy was a favorite for the match to qualify for the round of 16 against the Netherlands and only needed one point. The number 16 in the world had 3 points thanks to the victory over Argentina but also had to swallow a 5-0 defeat against top country Sweden. South Africa only lost 2-1 to Sweden and kept one point from the game with Argentina.
Italy took the lead early on. Arianna Caruso converted a penalty after an Italian was hooked in the penalty area. South Africa drew even thanks to an extraordinary own goal by Italy. Benedetta Orsi played the ball hard from a great distance back to her keeper, who could not reach it and saw the ball disappear into the goal.
South Africa took the lead halfway through the second half, thanks to a goal from Hildah Magaia. After another hit by Caruso after a corner kick, Italy was virtually back in the round of 16. But South Africa continued to fight. A good attack and a poor defense by Italy put the country in the knockout phase for the first time in its second World Cup participation.
Sweden was almost certain of the group win and also beat Argentina (2-0). Defending champion United States is the opponent in the eighth final.