South Africa make Women’s World Cup history with last-gasp win over Italy

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South Africa made Women’s World Cup history in a dramatic victory over Italy, securing a spot in the last-16 round of the tournament. Thembi Kgatlana’s last-gasp winner broke Italian hearts and marked South Africa’s first-ever World Cup win. Despite Italy’s desperate attempts, a 3-2 defeat sent them home.

Coach Desiree Ellis expressed her emotional pride, hailing the team’s warrior-like performance and historic achievement. Italy took an early lead with a penalty, but South Africa equalized through an own goal. Later, Kgatlana’s brilliant pass set up Hildah Magaia’s goal, giving South Africa the lead. Italy responded with a late equalizer, but Kgatlana’s final strike secured South Africa’s second-place finish in the group behind Sweden.

Speaking of Sweden, they progressed to the last-16 round with a flawless record. Rebecka Blomqvist’s header and Elin Rubensson’s late penalty led them to a 2-0 victory over Argentina. Sweden’s next challenge will be a blockbuster clash against reigning champions, the USA, in Melbourne on Sunday, a rematch of the 2021 Olympic quarter-finals.

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