29 August 2014
South Africa’s women’s football team, Banyana Banyana will wind up Women’s Month with an international friendly against Tanzania at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on Sunday evening.
They returned from Zambia earlier this week after a 4-0 win over She-polopolo and went straight into camp ahead of the African Women’s Championship in Namibia, which takes place from 11 to 25 October.
Coach Vera Pauw said in a statement that her charges’ preparations are on track for the biggest women’s football tournament on the African continent, which will also serve as a qualifier for the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup, with the top three finishers qualifying to play in the finals in Canada.
“We travelled back to South Africa on Monday and we gave the players a day off on Tuesday but the girls are looking great. We will be ready for Tanzania come Sunday,” Pauw said.
Amanda Dlamini is recovering well from a knee injury which she suffered in match against Namibia at the Dobsonville stadium on 10 August.
Places up for grabs
With Pauw yet to name her final squad to compete at the African Women’s Championship, competition among players for a place in Namibia is stiff.
“Everyone is working hard in the team. It’s not going to be easy for the coach to make the final selection as everyone is putting in great effort,” Banyana Banyana captain Janine Van Wyk said.
African Women’s Championship preparation
Runners-up in the last African Women’s Championship in 2012, South Africa qualified for this year’s finals after thrashing the Comoros 13-0 away from home in May. The islanders subsequently withdrew from the return leg of the tie, opening the way for Banyana Banyana to play a number of friendly internationals as preparation for the continental showpiece.
In eight outings in 2014, all against African opposition, South Africa has won six matches and drawn twice against Zimbabwe: 2-2 in Johannesburg in April and 0-0 in Harare in July.
Banyana’s other results include the 13-0 thrashing of the Comoros, a 4-0 defeat of Botswana on 7 June, a 2-1 win over Namibia in Windhoek on 5 July, a 2-0 victory over the same opposition on 10 August on home soil and the recent 4-0 victory over Zambia in Lusaka.
South Africa has been drawn in Group B for the African Women’s Championship finals, alongside Cameroon, Algeria and Ghana. Group A consists of Nigeria, Namibia, the Ivory Coast and Zambia.