Bantwana’s twins clashwith Brazil

Twin sisters: Thubelihle (left) and Sphumelel

Twin sisters: Thubelihle (left) and Sphumelel

SOUTH Africa’s Bantwana will take on Brazil in their final group game at Montevideo today, hoping for a great result to put their flagging World Cup back on track.

The South Africans will be inspired by the talented twins – Thubelihle and Sphumelele.

“You played really badly,” Thubelihle Shamase said through fits of laughter, offering her twin sister Sphumelele a frank opinion on her performance during South Africa’s opening 0-0 draw with Mexico at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

Sphumelele accepted the good-natured criticism but demanded a right to reply. “It was my first-ever U-17 World Cup match, and the Mexicans were so fast,” she explained. “It wasn’t easy, but you wouldn’t know that because you didn’t play that day!”

Thubelihle remained unconvinced, however. “But you can play so much better – I didn’t recognise you out there. You should have scored. It was, without a doubt, one of the worst matches of your life,” she said with a cheeky grin.

This jovial exchange typifies the close relationship enjoyed by the talented siblings, who both dream of one day turning out for Barcelona. Indeed, it appears that their bond has grown even stronger while appearing on the global stage at Uruguay 2018.

Although the 16-year-old siblings enjoyed one of the most intense experiences of their lives when they started South Africa’s second Group B match versus Japan together, they also took away some valuable lessons after coming up against the pace, organisation and attacking waves exhibited by their impressive Asian opponents, who defeated them 6-0.

“The biggest lesson was really just the importance of playing more directly. We’re here to learn, after all,” explained the twins, who will – if they are, as looks likely, eliminated at the group stage – soon return home with lifelong memories to share. – FIFA.com

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