The South African Senior Women’s National Team (Banyana Banyana) will be looking to book their place in the next round of the African Women’s Championship (AWC) when they face Zambia in the second leg qualifier at the KaNyamazane Stadium in Nelspruit at 3pm on Saturday.
The 8th Edition of the AWC is scheduled to be staged in Guinea later this year.
Banyana Banyana has strong ammunition for She-polopolo who lost the first leg by four goals to one (4-1) played two weeks ago in Zambia.
With Russia-based striker Nompumelelo Nyandeni back in the squad, the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana will be looking to increasing their lead. Nyandeni was unable to join her compatriots for the away fixture in Zambia due to visa issues.
The clash against Zambia takes place on Youth Day, which is a national holiday in South Africa.
“This will be a very significant match as it will be played on Youth Day and we are hoping to spread the message of unity and breaking barriers through sport in South Africa. It’s a great honour for us as young football ambassadors playing on June 1,” said Banyana Banyana captain Amanda Dlamini.
“We are going out there as the youth of South Africa to commemorate the fallen heroes who paved the way for us and created opportunities for us. While we want to qualify for the AWC, we also want to use this game to promote positive change and youth activity.”
According to the head coach of Banyana Banyana, Joseph Mkhonza, the first leg is now history and the focus is on a new match altogether.
“We should not dwell on the past result but should go into this game as if we are starting afresh. We need to go in there with a new mindset to ensure we don’t fall into the trap of complacency which might come back to haunt us. I told the players the advantage we have over Zambia should be forgotten,” said Mkhonza.
“We welcome back Mpumi (Nompumelelo Nyandeni) in the squad, we know that her experience will be valuable towards the team’s success. Her return is a great morale booster for the squad as we want to ensure that we qualify for the AWC as well as helping us on our journey towards the Olympics.
“I believe in giving all players an opportunity to represent their country, so I am going to rest some of the regular players and field those who haven’t had game time as we try new combinations. I won’t temper too much with the team because the mission remains winning our match,” added Mkhonza.
The AWC qualifier will be broadcast live on SABC 1 at 15h00.
Banyana Banyana starting line-up vs Zambia at the the KaNyamazane Stadium in Nelspruit, in return-leg African Women’s Championship Qualifier on 16 June 2012: Thokozile Mndaweni (GK) Zamandosi Cele Amanda Sister Nothando Vilakazi Leandra Smeda Refiloe Jane Kylie-Ann Louw Amanda Dlamini (c) Nompumelelo Nyandeni Sanah Mollo Portia Modise Subs: Rozanne Barker Lebogang Mabatle Rachel Sebati Mary Ntsweng Gabisile Hlumbane Jermaine Seoposenwe Noko Matlou