Argentina Stages Impressive Comeback to Deny South Africa’s Historic World Cup Victory: FIFA 2023 Women’s World Cup Day 9 Recap

Argentina v South Africa: Group G - FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023


In an exhilarating match during the Women’s World Cup, South Africa was on the brink of securing its first-ever victory with a comfortable two-goal lead, but Argentina proved their resilience and determination, making a remarkable comeback to snatch the game away from South Africa’s grasp in the final 30 minutes.

In a thrilling encounter in Group G, the two lower-ranked teams showcased their determination as they played to an exciting 2-2 draw. Argentina displayed their tenacity by erasing a 2-0 deficit in the second half, leaving the match with a hard-fought draw. On the other side, Banyana Banyana, ranked No. 54 in the FIFA world rankings, finally secured their first World Cup point after a tough start in the 2019 tournament and a 2-1 loss to Sweden in this year’s opener. Although they missed out on a potential victory, they demonstrated their potential and are eager to make their mark in the tournament.

South Africa’s opening goal was nothing short of unusual. When Thembi Kgatlana sprinted downfield following her team’s interception of a pass, it seemed evident that she was in an offside position. Surprisingly, Argentina didn’t appear to take her attack seriously, as both defenders in her vicinity raised their arms and momentarily hesitated to start running. This hesitation allowed Linda Motlhalo to capitalize on the situation and score an incredibly easy goal for South Africa. The unexpected turn of events left both teams and spectators astonished at the peculiar nature of the goal

However, thanks to the intervention of VAR (Video Assistant Referee), it was observed that one of the Argentina defenders was still in the process of moving forward and had not fully crossed Kgatlana’s position when the ball was played. As a result, the goal stood, granting South Africa the advantage and the much-needed first blood in the match. The utilization of VAR technology added a new layer of precision to the decision-making process, ensuring fairness and accuracy in the game’s outcome.

As Thembi Kgatlana scored a brilliant goal in the 66th minute, South Africa’s confidence soared, and it seemed like they were firmly in control. However, Argentina began to show signs of life and gradually gained momentum. The game, which had been evenly contested in terms of time of possession, started to tilt in La Albiceleste’s favor. In a span of just five minutes, Argentina found the back of the net twice, leveling the match and leaving South Africa deflated and disheartened. The quick turnaround of events knocked the wind out of South Africa’s sails, and they now faced a revitalized Argentine side eager to push for a victory.

Sophia Braun scored the first goal in the 74th minute, then Romina Núñez knocked in a beauty for the equalizer in the 79th.

The result leaves both teams needing a win, and possibly some help, in their third and final matches to reach the knockout rounds. South Africa will face Italy, which beat Argentina 1-0, while Argentina will get No. 3 ranked Sweden. Both figure to be underdogs.

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