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South Africa stun Italy 3-2 in Women’s World Cup

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Wellington: South Africa scored an added-time winner to stun Italy 3-2 at Wellington Regional Stadium to book their last-16 spot at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The Banyana Banyana will now face the Netherlands in the knockout stage following a thrilling win over Italy, who would have advanced with a point.

Italy took the lead after 11 minutes when Arianna Caruso slotted home low from the penalty spot after Chiara Beccari had been fouled by Karabo Dhlamini, the FIFA reported.

Robyn Moodaly’s swerving shot struck the post on 20 minutes before South Africa were level on 32 minutes when Benedetta Orsi’s misplaced back-pass skidded beyond her own goalkeeper Francesca Durante.

Beccari almost restored Italy’s lead in the first half when her header came back off the post but they fell behind midway through the second half when Thembi Kgatlana slipped a clever pass through to Hildah Magaia to finish beyond Durante.

Kgatlana was then denied by a flying save from Durante which proved crucial minutes later when Italy equalised after Caruso flicked out a leg to deflect substitute Cristiana Girelli’s header beyond Kaylin Swart.

Girelli was denied from close range by a superb save from Swart before South Africa regained the lead decisively in the second minute of added time when Kgatlana finished at the near post from Magaia’s pass to send her team into the next round.

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