Banyana Banyana striker Noko Matlou moves the ball forward during the team's debut match at an Olympic Games, against Sweden at Coventry on Wednesday evening. Sweden won the match 4-1, but the Africans acquitted themselves well after conceding the first three goals in the opening 20 minutes of the match. Photo: Wessel Oosthuizen / SA Sports Picture Agency

The South African Senior Women’s National Team (Banyana Banyana) will be out to prove that they have shaken the nerves of the first match and show that they are not just in London to make up the numbers. Banyana Banyana faces Canada in their second Olympic Group F fixture in Coventry on Saturday, 28 July 2012.

Kickoff is at 14h45 (15h45 South African time).

While nerves may have got the better of the South Africans in the first 30 minutes of their opening encounter in their 4-1 defeat to Sweden earlier this week (Wednesday, 25 July), captain Amanda Dlamini’s charges must now have settled into the Olympic mode, and need a win to keep alive their hopes of a place in the next round.

Banyana Banyana’s final group fixture will be against FIFA World Cup champions Japan on Tuesday, 31 July in Cardiff. The Canadians will be just as anxious to secure points, having gone down 2-1 to Japan in their opening Olympic Group F fixture.

“We have seen a bit of Canada in action when we participated at the Cyprus Women’s Cup in February this year and have an idea of what to expect,” said Banyana Banyana captain and midfielder Amanda Dlamini.

“The nerves of the first match are now behind us and we hope to do our country proud when we face Canada on Saturday. It’s a great experience for South Africa to play at this level of women’s football, being the first time that our senior women’s national team has qualified for the Olympics since our team was formed in 1993.”

The South Africans have had a solid build up phase to the Olympics since outplaying Zambia, Tunisia and Ethiopia in home and away matches to book their place – along with Cameroon – as Africa’s representatives at the London Olympics.

Thanks to the firm support of Sascoc, SAFA and Sasol, Banyana Banyana were conditioned in lengthy training camps and played several international friendly matches. They also participated in the Cyprus Women’s Cup as part of their preparations for their Olympic Games debut.

Banyana Banyana outplayed Zambia 6-2 on aggregate to book their place at the CAF African Women Championship 2012 which kicks off in Equatorial Guinea at the end of October.

Apart from being the sponsors of Banyana Banyana and the Sasol League in South Africa, Sasol is also the sponsors of the Team SA Olympic and Paralympic teams in action in London, enhancing their support for upliftment through sport.

 

Olympic Games Women’s Football Group F (SA Fixtures and Results):
Banyana Banyana 1-4 Sweden (Coventry, England)
28 July – 15h45: Banyana Banyana vs Canada (Coventry, England)
31 July – 15h30: Banyana Banyana vs Japan (Cardiff, Wales)
 
Banyana Banyana Squad:
No – Position – Name
14 – FW – Sanah Molo
10 – MF – Mary Ntsweng
5 – DF – Janine van Wyk
3 – DF – Nothando Vilakazi
6 – DF – Zamandosi Cele
18 – GK – Thokozile Mndaweni
4 – DF – Amanda Sister
9 – MF – Amanda Dlamini
11 – FW – Noko Matlou
13 – MF – Gabisile Hlumbani
17 – FW – Andisiwe Mgcoyi
8 – MF – Kylie-Ann Louw
7 – FW – Leandra Smeda
2 – MF – Robyn Moodaly
1 – GK – Roxanne Barker
16 – MF – Nompumelelo Nyandeni
15 – DF – Refiloe Jane
12 – FW – Portia Modise