Banyana Banyana head coach Joseph Mkhonza and his team are brimming with confidence ahead of their clash against neighbours Zimbabwe at Sinaba Stadium in Daveyton on Saturday.
The team has been hard at work this week, working on improving some of the concerns identified in the 5-0 hammering of Mozambique last weekend. The coach and players are well aware that Zimbabwe will be a different kettle of fish altogether. The team will have to work harder and be more clinical in front of goals.
“On Saturday, we need to do more than just get the basics right. Encounters with Zimbabwe have always gone down to the wire, so we need to be tactically astute as a unit,” said Mhkonza.
The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana have a slight psychological edge as they won the last game against the Zimbabweans. The visitors also go into this international friendly on the back of a convincing 3-1 away victory over Zambia. Nevertheless, matches between the two Cosafa powerhouses are usually closely contested affairs with very little separating the two teams.
“Zimbabwe is going to be tough to beat. We have a very close record against them. As a team, we are going to have to convert our opportunities and be more clinical in front of goals,” said Banyana captain Janine van Wyk.
Senior players will be expected to play a pivotal role on Saturday. The coach will once again be counting on them to assist new players in dealing with pressure.
“It is going to be important for us not to be overwhelmed by playing on the international stage. We have had discussions as a team about the type of game to expect from Zimbabwe and it is going to be very critical for our strikers to take most of the chances that are presented to us,” commented Zingawe Phakathi, one of the new players in the side.
The game will kick-off at 15h00 on Saturday. The team hopes to have a full house at Sinaba Stadium as local community around the area have always supported Banyana.