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South Africa Stun Italy Advance to World Cup Round 16

South Africa beat Italy 3-2, advancing to Women World Cup round of 16.

In the 92nd minute, captain Thembi Kgatlana scored the game winning goal to send Italy home, make history for South Africa, and set up a match with the Netherlands.

With 16 minutes remaining, Italy’s Arianna Caruso scored twice and appeared to have salvaged the tie they needed to advance before Kgatlana spectacular late intervention. At the conclusion, the Italians were in tears as their rivals celebrated storied victory.

Italy took the lead when Caruso converted a penalty in the 11th minute, but they were forced to accept an absurdly timed equalize on minute 32.

Without looking up to see if Francesca Durante was nearby after receiving the ball, Italy’s Benedetta Orsi popped it back to her custodian.

Durante, however, was not in the area where the backpass was made, and the result was a clear own goal for Italy.

In the ensuing goalmouth scramble, Italy hit the post, but there wasn’t much to separate them at halftime in Wellington’s rain.

African champions went on the offensive in the second half knowing they needed to score.

On the 67th minute, South Africa duly seized the lead when captain Kgatlana fed Hildah Magaia, who swept the ball into the goal.

Durante produced an incredible stop to prevent South Africa from scoring a third, but moments later, what appeared to be the game’s turning point occurred.

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