8 July 2014
Banyana Banyana began their preparations for the forthcoming African Women’s Championship on a winning note, beating Namibia 2-1 in an international friendly at Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek on the weekend.
Goals by Leandra Smeda and Disebo Mametja were enough to seal victory for South Africa’s national women’s football team, while Thomalina Adams pulled one back for the home side.
Coach Pauw’s comments
“The ladies know what is expected of them now,” Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw commented after the game.
“The hard work that we have been putting in is starting to show. It was a tough game, Namibia has improved a lot. They are physical, but we managed to contain them.”
Pauw made two changes to the team that had beaten Botswana 4-0 last month, with Noko Matlou returned to the starting eleven and playing alongside captain Janine Van Wyk in defence, while Disebo Mametja started her first match under Pauw on the right flank.
The Namibians were the first to threaten in the contest and managed the first shot at goal in the seventh minute, but the ball passed narrowly wide of goalkeeper Tokozile Mndaweni’s goals.
It took Banyana Banyana almost half-an-hour to find their feet. Smeda then found the back of the net in the 29th minute after the South Africans executed a well- coordinated set piece from outside the box.
Refiloe Jane had an opportunity to extend the South African lead just before the halftime break. She made good contact with the ball inside the box, but her effort went wide, off the goal post.
A quarter-of-an-hour into the second half, Mametja doubled Banyana Banyana’s with an easy tap-in.
Namibia pulled one back with 15 minutes remaining after a defensive error from Banyana Banyana, but when the final whistle sounded the visitors had taken the honours 2-1.
Namibia will host the African Women’s Championships from the 11 to 25 October this year.
Banyana Banyana next face Zimbabwe on Friday in another pre-African Women’s Championship friendly on Friday at the Rufaro Stadium in Harare.
“We need to play more matches before the African Women’s Championships as this will give us an opportunity to keep practicing what we have learnt,” Banyana coach Pauw said in a statement on Monday.
“The ladies know what is expected of them. From here on we have to master what we have learnt. We need to get the team physically ready for an intense high level of play.”
The draw for the African Women’s Championships draw will be held on 19 July in Windhoek. The other nations that have qualified for the finals are Namibia, Algeria, Cameroon, the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Zambia.