BANYANA Banyana captain Janine Van Wyk has made a passionate plea to South Africans not to give up on them after their 3-1 thrashing against Spain in their opening Fifa Women’s World Cup.
Banyana, World Cup rookies, were left with broken after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system decided their fate against Spain.
Thembi Kgatlana gave Banyana the lead after 25 minutes, and despite tons of possession, Spain barely created chances but were gifted with a penalty for an equaliser.
Two penalty decisions inside the final 20 minutes turned the match on its head, with Jennifer Hermoso converting both.
Nothando Vilakazi was in the process sent packing for a second bookable offense, as a result of the second penalty, and VAR helped the official make the rather decision.
Lucia Garcia added a third goal to secure the win.However, singing "Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrika" (SA National Anthem) at the World Cup for the first time in history, Banyana will forever cherish the moment, as they are the first crop of SA women to qualify for the tournament.
Captain Janine Van Wyk stated: “Walking in the field for the first time was emotional than being at the Olympic Games.
"This is the highest point you can ever climb as an athlete to represent your country, we could not have asked for better.“No one ever though that South Africa will be in a World Cup like this where the world is watching.”
“This (the result) is something we need to learn from, but we are still in it. It is not like we are out.”
With two more group games to go against China PR on Thursday and Germany, Van Wyk says they will pick themselves up and try again get a point.
“There’s lot of positives that we can look at. We shouldn’t look too much on the negatives. People must stick with us even though some may be disappointed by the Spain result.
“We cannot dwell on this result. Let’s remain positive because when we go out to the field, we fight with everything that we have.”
Mthokozisi Mkhonza is in France as a guest of Sasol.