BANYANA Banyana goalkeeper Andile Dlamini was reduced to tears yesterday when the national women’s team lost their All Africa Games place due to the drawing of lots.
Banyana, Cameroon and Ghana’s Black Queens were competing for two spots in Group B and ended up on the same number of points after they all drew their group matches.
Cameroon, who had the goal advantage, automatically qualified for the next round, while the Black Queens and Banyana took part in a draw to determine who would proceed to the semifinals.
But luck evaded Banyana, who lost the draw.
Dlamini said she had worked hard to keep a clean sheet in the tournament in Congo and that Caf should have found another way to decide who would qualify for the semis.
She added that the “unfair penalty” granted to the Indomitable Lionesses in their first match didn’t help their cause either.
Said Dlamini: “This was the first tournament I would have gone without conceding a goal – except for the silly penalty, unfairly awarded. It is heartbreaking that we exit the tournament this way.
“It would have been better and fairer had we gone the penalty kicks route.”
Dlamini said the biggest lesson they had learnt was that they should use the opportunities they created.
The Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies keeper said they would now focus on their next match against Equatorial Guinea in October, which is their last Olympic Games qualifier.
She added: “We need to score goals so that when referees are against us, our goal record speaks for us. We always face the hardship of referees when we play away. We have to keep our heads up.”
Safa spokesman Dominic Chimhavi said that although the association was disappointed to see Banyana bow out in this fashion, it was expected when the drawing of lots was involved.
Said Chimhavi: “When Egypt withdrew, we knew this would be a possibility. We have no issue with the procedure, as it’s used worldwide, but football results should be decided on the field of play. This should be a last resort.”