Banyana Banyana defender Lebohang Ramalepe celebrated her 50th cap in great style – in her first meeting against Nigeria on Sunday.
The South African women’s national team managed to claim a famous 1-0 victory over the Super Eagles in the Women’s Afcon at the Cape Coast Stadium in Ghana.
Ramalepe has now joined the likes of Jermaine Seoposenwe, Sanah Mollo, Janine van Wyk, Amanda Dlamini, Refiloe Jane, Nothando Vilakazi and Noko Matlou, who have made more than 50 appearances for the senior women’s national team.
Since making her debut against Zimbabwe back in 2004, Ramalepe has only managed to score one goal in a Banyana jersey.
‘The Lord works in mysterious ways. Reaching 50 caps is not an easy thing, and I would like to thank all the coaches who helped me along the way to get to this milestone because if they did not believe in my ability, I would not be here. Gratitude also goes to my teammates who encourage me every day, so yes when we played Nigeria I was quietly celebrating. I am so happy, I really never thought I would reach this big milestone,’ Ramalepe told Safa’s website.
‘I am honoured to be mentioned in the same space as the Banyana Banyana greats. I am really humbled, but I feel there is still a long way to go to get to that magical 100. As a player I know what I have to do to reach it – stay disciplined, be coachable, make sure the nation is always proud of the hard work I put in in every game, no matter the results – just always strive to do my best, and the rest will follow.’
Reflecting on her career with the women’s national team, Ramalepe has labeled Banyana’s win over Equatorial Guinea in the 2016 Olympic qualifiers as her most memorable game for Banyana.
‘When we played Equatorial Guinea in their backyard to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics – that is a day I will never forget because it was my first time ever qualifying for such a very big event that every player wants to be part of. The fact that we beat them away, the celebrations that followed, the joy of my teammates, it was just something to behold. I will forever cherish that day in particular.’
50+ Banyana Banyana players:
Jermaine Seoposenwe – 64
Sanah Mollo – 73
Leandra Smeda – 85
Mamello Makhabane – 85
Refiloe Jane – 94
Amanda Dlamini (retired) – 105
Nothando Vilakazi – 118
Portia Modise (retired) – 124
Nompumelelo Nyandeni -144
Noko Matlou – 146
Janine van Wyk – 156
Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
You may also like