Argentina comeback denies South Africa first win at Women’s World Cup

Romina Nunez scored the equaliser as Argentina roared back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with South Africa at the Women’s World Cup on Friday, denying them a landmark first-ever win at the tournament.

South Africa appeared to be cruising to a first ever win in five matches at the World Cup after goals by Linda Motlhalo and Thembi Kgatlana either side of half-time in Dunedin.

However, Argentina pulled one back via a stunning Sophia Braun strike in the 74th minute and then drew level five minutes later when Nunez headed home.

Appearing at their fourth World Cup, Argentina have still never won in 11 attempts but this draw gives them hope going into their final match in Group G.

After losing their opening matches in New Zealand, Argentina and South Africa both now have one point.

Favourites Sweden and Italy both have three points before playing each other in Wellington on Saturday, before a decisive final round of games on August 2.

South Africa threw away a lead and then conceded the decisive goal in the last minute as they lost 2-1 to Sweden in their opening match at the tournament.

And Banyana Banyana let slip a golden opportunity to break their World Cup duck here having initially overcome the loss of captain Refiloe Jane to injury in the first half.

She was taken off on a stretcher, with Kgatlana taking the armband.
Kgatlana, who recovered from a ruptured achilles tendon to be fit for the World Cup, set up the opener when she ran away from the Argentina defence and squared for Motlhalo to score after half an hour.

The Argentina players stopped tracking back, convinced Kgatlana was offside in the build-up, and the flag did initially come up.

However, the goal was given on review and South Africa were in front.
Paulina Gramaglia hit the bar with a cross-cum-shot for Argentina before Kgatlana put the ball in the net again in first-half stoppage time, but this time the goal was ruled out for offside.

Chances came at either end in the second half but South Africa appeared to be out of sight when Jermaine Seoposenwe’s low centre was turned in by Racing Louisville forward Kgatlana just after the hour mark.

Argentina looked down and out but they were given hope when Braun beat goalkeeper Kaylin Swart with a fantastic strike, controlling a clearance and letting fly from 25 metres out.

Five minutes later they drew level as Yamila Rodriguez crossed for fellow substitute Nunez to head in and make it 2-2. -BSS

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