Finland 3-0 South Africa: Banyana Banyana end Cyprus Women's Cup on a losing note
Samuel Ahmadu/Goal
Desiree Ellis' side could not recover from back-to-back defeats as they were thrashed in their last match in Paralimni

The South Africa national women's team were defeated 3-0 by Finland in a Cyprus Women's Cup ninth-place match at the Tassos Markou Stadium in Paralimni on Wednesday.

Having suffered two defeats in a row, Desiree Ellis' ladies were hoping to bid farewell to Cyprus on a winning note in a rematch with the Finnish.

However, the dreams of the Africans did not come to fruition as goals from Katarina Naumanen, Iina Salmi and Ilga Ahtinen condemned them to a third consecutive defeat. 

Although Banyana Banyana matched the Europeans for the entire opening 25 minutes of the match, Naumanen broke the deadlock to hand Finland the lead on the half-hour mark.

On returning from the break, Salmi doubled the lead for Anna Signeul's side five minutes after the restart, benefiting from goalkeeper Kylian Swart's poor ball-handling inside the area.

Despite the introductions of Thembi Kgatlana and Linda Mothalo, Ellis' side could not bounce back as Ahtinen's 85th-minute strike also overshadowed Noko Matlou's 150th cap celebration.

The defeat saw Banyana Banyana finish in 10th in the 12-nation women's competition, marking their fourth-worst performances in seven outings in Cyprus since 2009.

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Having concluded their forgettable Cyprus tour, South Africa will return home on Friday, March 8 as they look to continue their build-up to a maiden Fifa Women's World Cup in June.


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