South Africa star Thembi Kgatlana picks most memorable game

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The reigning African queen recently hit her 50th Banyana Banyana cap and she looks back on her great times in her journey so far

Reigning African Women's Player of the Year Thembi Kgatlana has picked her most memorable match after she reached a half-century cap for South Africa.

Kgatlana hit a milestone for Banyana Banyana as a substitute in their 2-1 loss to Czech Republic at the 2019 Cyprus Women's Cup on March 4.

The 22-year-old shone brightly as Desiree Ellis' side ended up as runners-up at the 2018 Africa Women's Cup of Nations in Ghana and also secured their first ever Women's World Cup ticket.

In the process, she clinched the top scorer award with five goals and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. She capped a productive 2018 with the best player of the year award.

The Beijing Phoenix's new signing, whose solitary effort condemned the Super Falcons to a 1-0 group stage defeat in Cape Coast, has scored 16 goals in 51 appearances for her country.

"I think that my most memorable game was the 2018 African Women's Cup of Nations [group stage] match against Nigeria," Kgatlana told Safa.net.

"Nigeria have always been dominant against us. They were really surprised that we came back so hard against them, although we met again in the final and they won, but didn't score against us.

"They now know that South Africa has become so competitive and not the same team they've been playing a couple of years ago."

Thembi Kgatlana ps

The former Houston Dash forward also disclosed that edging Nigeria's Asisat Oshoala to the African Women's Player of the Year 2018 prize was her most memorable moment.
 
"My most memorable moment playing soccer was being crowned as the African Women's Player of the Year 2018. I was nominated in 2017 but fell short to Asisat Oshoala," she continued.

"It was special for me to come back in 2018, although I had a slow start to the year going forward, everything went quite well and I was crowned."

While reflecting on her incredible rise to stardom, the former University of Western Cape star is grateful for the support from family, teammates and South Africans.

"I think it's being quite a difficult journey, I won't lie but my family members have always been there for me," she enthused.

"They've always motivated me that I'm still young and shouldn't be stressing up over a lot of things. Although it is difficult because we are human beings, we have to live with the reality.

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"I think the support is quite amazing with teammates in the national team, everywhere I go and from everyone back home. That can only motivate me as a player knowing that I have a lot of support.

"I live with a motto that 'Patience is Power' and as a sports person, that motto motivates me each and every day because I am passionate about football."

South Africa will hope to excel at their maiden Women's World Cup campaign in France and Kgatlana will aim to make a big statement after her unforgettable 2018 feat.

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