Banyana Banyana found themselves on the backfoot early on when a failed clearance in the ninth minute gifted Jill Roord an easy header into an open net and the Dutch midfielder’s fourth goal of the tournament.
Despite that setback the South Africans kept up the fight and had plenty of chances.
Captain Thembi Kgatlana was especially menacing, firing multiple shots on target only to be denied by a series of strong saves from Dutch goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar.
Shortly after the second half began, Dutch winger Lieke Martens saw a goal disallowed for offside.
But the South Africans then saw their fate sealed in the 68th minute after what should have been an easily saveable strike by Lineth Beerensteyn slipped through Kaylin Swart’s hands into the back of the net, the latter slamming her hands onto the pitch in frustration.
The victory now means the 2019 finalists will go up against Spain in the quarterfinals in Wellington on Friday.
While South Africans are going home, 2023 has already been a historic tournament for the side, especially after a dramatic winner from Kgatlana in stoppage time last Wednesday secured a 3-2 victory over Italy, her team’s first ever win at this tournament.
Banyana Banyana also came within minutes of drawing against Sweden, another more fancied opponent, in its opening match at this tournament.