Banyana Poised on the Brink of Greatness

The South African senior women’s soccer team pictured on the brink of greatness, bathed in sunshine at their pre-CAF African Women’s Championship 2012 camp in Johannesburg early in November. Coach Joseph Mkhona’s team has continued their stellar growth prospects, rattling off a first-ever win over African champs Nigeria on their way to contest the battle to lift the continental honours for the first time, after Banyana Banyana beat the Super Falcons 1-0 through defender Janine van Wyk’s 24th minute dipping strike in Bata on Wednesday. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/SAFA

Banyana Banyana will be looking to see off the challenge of unbeaten hosts Equatorial Guinea and their loyal red-clad fans, when the Malabo Stadium is expected to be filled to it’s 25,000 capacity for the CAF African Women Championship 2012 final, on Sunday, 11 November 2012.

The grand finale kicks off at 17h30 South African time, and if the opening leg encounter (won 1-0 by the hosts) is anything to judge by, then SASOL-sponsored Banyana Banyana will be on the receiving end of much singing, cheering and dancing, from the fans in support of the home side.

Banyana Banyana have run into form at the right time at this tournament and travel to the Malabo Stadium fresh from a first ever victory over Nigeria on Wednesday, 7 November, in Bata. The home side outplayed All-Africa Games Champions Cameroon 2-0 to book their place in the final.

Captain Amanda Dlamini’s side is a much classier unit than when the nations last met in the semi-finals of the CAF African Women Championship 2010 in Ekurhuleni, near Johannesburg.

The Guineans won 3-1 that day to qualify for the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament held in Germany last year.

“To travel home to South Africa with the CAF African Women Championship trophy will be a super way to end this great 2012 year which has also seen Banyana Banyana make their first appearance at the Olympic Games,” said Banyana Banyana head coach, Joseph Mkhonza.

“SAFA and SASOL must be thanked for their continuous support for women’s football in South Africa, which has allowed our girls to flourish on the international stage. If my players play to their best on Sunday, I will be a proud coach and I can’t ask for more.”

“The girls played for each other in the win over Nigeria on Wednesday and more of that courage will be required as we know that there cannot be a weak link in this testing final match,” added the coach.

Experienced players like midfielders in captain Amanda Dlamini and Portia Modise, as well as goalkeeper Thoko Mndaweni and central defender Janine van Wyk, have been able to lift their games and that of their team-mates when playing to full house galleries, and their experience could be needed in Sunday’s title decider which could be described as the best of the best in recent tournaments.


South African CAF AWC 2012 Fixtures and Results:
Sat 27 Oct: Equatorial Guinea 1-0 South Africa
Wed 31 Oct: South Africa 1-0 Senegal
Sat 3 Nov: South Africa 4-1 Democratic Republic of Congo
Semi-Final, 7 Nov: South Africa 1-0 Nigeria
Final, 11 Nov: South Africa v Equatorial Guinea
The Senior South African Women’s Soccer Team for the CAF AWC 2012 in Equatorial Guinea:
Thoko Mndaweni (GK)
Refiloe Jane
Amanda Dlamini (C)
Portia Modise
Leandra Smeda
Amanda Sister
Janine van Wyk
Gabisile Hlumbane
Jermaine Seoposenwe
Nothando Vilakazi
Andisiwe Mgcoyi
Zama Cele
Charlotte Mshengu
Silindile Mgubane
Sanah Mollo
Noko Matlou
Lebogang Mabatle
Nocawe Skiti
Andile Dlamini (GK)
Katelgo Moletsane (GK)
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