South Africa's national women's football team, Banyana Banyana, continued their build-up to the London Olympics with a hard-fought goalless draw against Africa's top-ranked team, Nigeria, in an international friendly at the Teslim-Balogun Stadium in Lagos, Nigeria on Saturday.
The sides had shared a 1-1 draw in an friendly played at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium near Rustenburg 20 days earlier.
"I have a strong belief that today's match was one of greatest [we have played], as we played the number one team in Africa," said South African coach Joseph Mkhonza after the game.
The game was an action-packed affair with both sides rising to the occasion and spurred on by a carnival-like atmosphere, including a brass band which played throughout the game.
The Nigerians suffered an early setback when their star goalkeeper Precious Dede was carried off the field after making a brave save in which she suffered an injury. After only five minutes, Tochukwu Oluehi took to the field to replace her.
In defence, the visitors absorbed a lot of pressure, with central defender Lebogang Mabatle taking full advantage of her call up to the starting line-up with an assured performance, while United States-based goalkeeper Roxanne Barker performed admirably in goal.
Coach Joseph Mkhonza gave most of his players a run and second half substitutions included Mary Ntsweng for Nocawe Skiti, midfielder Leandra Smeda for Gabisile Hlumbane, striker Noko Matlou for Portia Modise, and forward Jermaine Seoposenwe for Andisiwe Mgcoyi, and the attacking Sanah Mollo for Zamandosi Cele.
The wet, artificial pitch caused problems for both teams early on in the match, but the home side enjoyed more possession, with the experienced forward Stella Mbachu proving to be a constant thorn in the visitor's side with her speed and vision in passing.
Speaking after the game, Mkhonza said his players performed well in the wet and humid conditions.
'The girls played well'
"We are slowly building the team to a stage where they can compete in the Olympics. The girls played well out there and I am glad we tried a different combinations.
"We fielded new players, as I believe every player should get the chance to represent the country as well as the continent with pride.
"We are happy with the results we are getting, although we would love to get a win, but going forward this means that the work we have been putting into preparations is paying off," he concluded.