Kgatlana humbled to win the Most Valuable Player award at Cyprus Cup

11 March 2018 - 15:09 By Marc Strydom
Banyana Banyana star Thembi Kgatlana pose with her Most Valuable Player award during the Cyprus Women's Cup playoff match between Belgium and South Africa on 07 March 2018 in Larnaca, Cyprus.
Banyana Banyana star Thembi Kgatlana pose with her Most Valuable Player award during the Cyprus Women's Cup playoff match between Belgium and South Africa on 07 March 2018 in Larnaca, Cyprus.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Thembi Kgatlana has said she was humbled to win the Most Valuable Player award at last week’s Cyprus Cup.

Banyana Banyana forward Kgatlana added another personal achievement to her growing list of accolades as South Africa finished fifth at the Cyrus Cup.

The 21-year-old US based star, who plays for Houston Dash, was the player of the tournament helping Banyana to victory at the 2017 Cosafa Women’s Championship in Zimbabwe in September‚ then nominated for the Confederation of African Football’s (Caf) 2017 women’s player of the year.

“I’m feeling humble. I’m feeling honoured at once again having played a part in contributing to the team‚ and also being voted MVP for the Cyprus Cup‚” Kgatlana said.

“It’s something also that I didn’t expect – it came as a surprise. But there’s always a saying that‚ ‘When you work hard people will recognise your efforts.

“It’s one of those times again where my efforts have been recognised.”

Banyana lost 2-1 against Belgium‚ who scored their winner in the 87th minute‚ in the fifth-place playoff in Cyprus.

They had finished second in Group C to North Korea in the group stage‚ who Banyana drew 0-0 against‚ drawing by the same scoreline against Slovakia and beating Hungary 1-0.

“It was my first time going to Cyrus with Banyana‚ and I’ve always wanted to go‚” Kgatlana said.

“I think we had a good tournament‚ only losing in our playoff game against Belgium.

“We had good games against Slovakia and Hungary. I think in Group C we had more chances than any other team.

“But what matters is that we reached the playoffs because we played very well‚ drawing two games against best-ranked teams North Korea and Slovakia‚ and beating Hungary who are higher ranked than us.

“And it was unfortunate that we conceded in the last minute against Belgium.”


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