South Africa women vs Italy player ratings: Banyana Banyana finally do it

In the most dramatic of fashions, Banyana Banyana secured their first-ever World Cup win when edging Italy 3-2 thanks to a stoppage-time winner. The result meant that the South African women leapfrogged the fancied Italians and for the first time in their history Banyana Banyana reached the knockout stage of a World Cup. Who was the hero? How it all happened? Here are our South Africa vs Italy player ratings.

Argentina vs South Africa player ratings
Photo : Steve Haag / Icon Sport
  • Nervy first half saw Caruso’s penalty giving Italy the early lead before Orsi’s own goal made it 1-1 at the break.
  • South Africa took the lead just past the hour. Caruso made it 2-2 only 6 minutes later. The Italians were going through with a draw.
  • Banyana Banyana never stopped believing and in stoppage time Kgatlana broke the Italian hearts to send South Africa through.

Banyana Banyana Player Ratings: Kgatlana delivers the goods again

GK Kaylin Swart 7/10 – Conceded 2 goals but made 3 other vital saves that kept South Africa’s hopes alive.

DF Lebohang Ramalepe 8/10 – Excellent going forward. Did well defensively too.

DF Bongeka Gamede 6/10 – Solid but a bit uncomfortable with her passes.

DF Bambanani Mbane 7/10 – Played her best game of the tournament so far. Dominated inside her own box.

South Africa vs Italy player ratings
Photo : Steve Haag / Icon Sport

DF Karabo Dhlamini 5/10 – Gave away the early penalty. Never recovered and looked shaky for the rest of the match.

MF Hildah Magaia 8/10 – Scored the 2nd goal. Carried danger every time she was on the ball. Excellent overall.

MF Noko Matlou 6/10 Started for the injured captain Jane. Looked nervous. Allowed the Italians to dominate her.

MF Linda Motlhlalo 6/10 – The Glasgow City winger was used in a central role to help fill the void left by 2 absent players. This didn’t suit her. She did well but never had the impact she usually has out on the wing.

MF Robyn Moodaly 6/10 – Replaced at halftime due to a very shaky display.

FW Jermaine Seoposenwe 7/10 – Created plenty of dangers with her vibrant runs. Dominated on her flank.

FW Thembi Kgatlana 8/10 – Scored the crucial 3rd goal. Led the line very well. Her activity also forced the own goal in the first half.


MF Mapula Kgoale 6/10 – Brought on at halftime. Defensively did well. Struggled to impact the forward actions though.

The other 2 substitutes were made inside the final 15 minutes, so there was no time for those players to be ranked.

Italy Player Ratings: Caruso’s efforts not enough

GK Francesca Durante 5/10 – Conceded 3 goals and was at fault for at least 2 of those.

DF Benedetta Orsi 4/10 – Her own goal restored South Africa’s hopes. It was all downhill for her from there on as she committed errors for the other 2 goals too.

DF Lucia di Guglielmo 6/10 – Started well but faded in the second half.

DF Elena Linari 5/10 – Struggled late in the match. Got visibly tired. Should have asked for a substitute. Instead stayed on and gifted the South Africans the winner.

DF Lisa Boattin 7/10 – Vibrant bombing down the flank. Her crosses carried danger. Defensively did well too.

MF Manuela Giugliano 5/10 – Her passing was awful all match.

MF Barbara Bonansea 6/10 – Moved the ball well. Didn’t do her defensive duties well though.

MF Chiara Beccari 6/10 – Kept sending crosses astray. Her heavy mid-range shots carried danger though.

MF Giulia Dragoni 5/10 – Sloppy on the ball. Didn’t do much right.

MF Arianna Caruso 8/10 – Scored both Italian goals. She was by far the best player on the pitch for her team.

FW Valentina Giacinti 5/10 – Anonymous all match.


MF Christiana Girelli 6/10 – Livened up the midfield but had very little impact late on.

FW Elisa Bartoli 6/10 – Failed to improve the threat inside the box. Stayed passive near the end.

The other 3 substitutes were made inside the final 15 minutes, so there was no time for those players to be ranked.

Player of the Match: Thembi Kgatlana

Banyana Banyana’s striker Kgatlana scored the crucial 3rd goal that sent the South Africans through. She was a constant thorn in Italy’s backline and for the second time in a row, we pick her as our Player of the Match.

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