London, Great Britain (PANA) - South Africa managed to salvage one point for Africa while Cameroon registered its name on the score-sheet as both teams head home early from the women's football event of the ongoing 2012 London Olympics.
The two African representatives were essentially playing only for pride on Tuesday, after two straight losses in their group matches earlier ruled them out of contention for the quarter-finals.
In their final group F match, South Africa forced favourite Japan to a goalless draw at Cardiff's
South Africa proved to be more than a match for the Japanese in the opening 45 minutes.
The world champions controlled possession in the opening stages but lacked their usual creative spark and created only two chances.
For South Africa, Portia Modise created Banyana Banyana’s best chance, shooting from way outside the penalty box just inches over the crossbar.
Japan finished second in group F and advances to the last eight.
For its part, Cameroon lost 3-1 to New Zealand in their final Group E game.
The Kiwis, who will now take on giant USA in the quarter-finals, were organised and sharp from the opening kick-off, running hard and keeping hold of the ball against their talented African opponents.
New Zealand scored two goals in the first half and added on more in the second, before Cameroon pulled one back, through Gabrielle Onguene.
The London Olympics marks the first time that Africa is featuring two teams in the women's football event at the four-yearly Games.
Hitherto, Africa's only slot had been monopolized by African giant Nigeria, which has featured in three prior Olympics, with its best outing being a quarter-final berth.
-0- PANA TON/SEG 1Aug2012