28 May 2014
Banyana Banyana qualified for the finals of the ninth edition of the African Women’s Championship (AWC) after the Comoros withdrew from qualifying on Tuesday.
The Football Federation from the island nation wrote a letter to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to ask to be allowed to withdraw after they lost the first leg of their qualifiers against the South African National women’s team by 13-0 on Friday.
The Comoros was scheduled to travel to South Africa next week for the second leg, which was set to take place on Saturday, 7 June.
Portia Modise and Leandra Smeda starred in the away leg of the qualifier, played on the artificial turf of the Stade Said Mohamed Cheikh Stadium, by netting four goals each. Sanah Mollo addeda brace, while Mamello Makhabane, Nomathemba Ntsibande and Shiwe Nogwanya also found the back of the net.
“We prepared very well for the match, and I’m happy that the ladies have started finding the back of the net,” Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw said after the match.
“We did not change the team, but we also gave other players a chance in the second half. We were dominating the game, there was not much competition from the start.”
2014 African Women’s Championship
The 2014 African Women’s Championship will be held in Namibia from 11 to 25 October.
The tournament is also being used as a qualifier for the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup, with the top three finishers qualifying for the finals in Canada.
“It is very unfortunate that Comoros had to withdraw from the qualifiers as it is not very good for the development of football in Africa,” Sasol Banyana Banyana coach Pauw said on Tuesday on hearing the news of the team’s withdrawal.
“Even though I understand where they are coming from, I believe coming here to play their match would have been more beneficial for them as they would have learned a few other things.
“But on the other hand I am quite ecstatic for qualifying for AWC in my first stint with Banyana Banyana, and I believe it is something worth celebrating.
“I am really looking forward to the tournament, but we should not forget the bigger picture is to qualify for the Women’s World Cup in Canada. Going to AWC means we are a step closer to achieving that dream.”
Despite the Comoros pulling out of AWC qualifying, Pauw said her preparation programme had not been dented.
“Despite the setback of Comoros not coming, we are already looking for a match to play for that weekend because we need to keep the girls active. We will still be in camp regardless,” she said.