The South African was one of the top performers as the Gunsmiths’ suffered a defeat in their first pre-season game on Tuesday
Thembi Kgatlana delivered an impressive display despite Eibar’s 2-1 defeat to Espanyol in Tuesday’s Spanish pre-season friendly match.
The 2018 Africa Women’s Footballer of the Year joined the Spanish side from Portuguese giants SL Benfica and became the second African at the club after Nigeria’s Charity Adule this summer.
The South Africa international made her debut as a starter along with Adule but the African duo was unable to rescue the Gunsmiths from suffering a losing start in their friendly against Espanyol.
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Iker Dorronsoro’s side made a false start to the encounter as Nadezhda Karpova fired Espanyol ahead after just two minutes.
However, Kgatlana broke in through the right-wing before sending in a brilliant pass to Ruth Alvarez and the Spaniard made no mistake to level matters for Eibar in the 14th minute.
After the restart, Espanyol dominated possession following the withdrawal of Kgatlana and Adule but the former could not find a breakthrough despite their dominance.
Ruben Casado’s team profited from Eibar’s error between the defender and goalkeeper in the 53rd minute when Maya Yoshida scored the winner and also marked her debut with a goal.
Despite the defeat, South Africa’s Kgatlana and Nigeria’s Adule were impressive for the duration they were on the pitch, ensuring their side finishes the first half of the encounter on level terms.
Eibar will aim to get their act together in time with less than two weeks to their 2020-21 top-flight opener at home against Real Betis following their promotion to the Primera Iberdrola in May.
Kgatlana and Adule will be eager to combine well in attack to inspire Dorronsoro’s team to succeed in the Spanish top-flight this season.