The SA Senior Women’s National team jetted out to Lusaka on Thursday afternoon after head coach Joseph Mkhonza named a strong 18-member squad for the African Women’s Championship qualifier against Zambia at the Nkoloma Stadium, at 15h00 on Saturday, 26 May.
The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana squad comprises mainly of the players that won 5-2 against Tanzania in an international friendly match played in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Sunday, 20 May.
Banyana Banyana is looking to lift the AWC title, after claiming bronze in the 2010 edition of the continental spectacle that was hosted by South Africa, when Nigeria won gold.
Cape Town Roses (Sasol league) midfielder, Nocawe Skiti will come in as a replacement for Refiloe Jane of Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies (Sasol league). Jane sustained an ankle injury during the friendly encounter against Tanzania, and is still recovering from the injury.
“My selection of the current squad to face Zambia in the AWC qualifiers is based on the performance the players put up in Tanzania last weekend. I was really impressed with the girls’ play in Tanzania, and they applied all the techniques we had been working on in training,” said Mkhonza.
“It‘s disappointing that Refiloe will not be part of us in Zambia as she contributed a lot to our victory in Tanzania. We have however a strong pool of players who will us keep the winning momentum going when we face Zambia.”
The South Africans had a video analysis session of their game against Tanzania in an effort to rectify the defensive mistakes made that saw them concede two goals.
“Thanks to the continued support of SAFA and Sasol, we are able to hold these training camps that we may excel in our game as we seek to conquer the African Women’s Championship title. With the assistance of Amisco helping with the analysis, we have identified their problem areas and were able to work on them during our training sessions,” added the head coach.
The return leg against Zambia will be played on Saturday, 16 June at a venue still to be confirmed.
The Banyana Banyana Squad for the opening African Women’s Championship qualifier against Zambia in Lusaka: 1. Thokozile Mndaweni (UJ Ladies FC) 2. Roxanne Barker (Pepperdine University (USA)) 3. Nothando Vilakazi (Palace Super Falcon) 4. Amanda Sister (Liverpool Ladies FC) 5. Janine van Wyk (Palace Super Falcon) 6. Zamandosi Cele (Durban Ladies FC) 7. Gabisile Hlumbane (Kovsies) 8. Lebogang Mabatle (Halleluyah Zebra Force) 9. Nocawe Skiti (Cape Town Roses) 10. Kylie-Ann Louw (Stephen F Austin (USA)) 11. Mary Ntsweng (TUT Ladies FC) 12. Robyn Moodaly (High Performance Centre) 13. Amanda Dlamini (Captain) (UJ Ladies FC) 14. Noko Matlou (UJ Ladies FC) 15. Leandra Smeda (Cape Town Roses) 16. Sanah Mollo (Bloemfontein Celtics) 17. Andisiwe Mgcoyi (Sundowns Ladies) 18. Portia Modise (Palace Super Falcon)