The South African Senior Women’s National Team (Banyana Banyana) remains in high spirits following the two matches they played on their tour of Germany and England ahead of the 2012 London Olympics stage.
The South Africans, ranked 61st in the world, won one match and lost the other – going down by three goals to one (3-1) against Olympic hosts, Great Britain. The match was played in Birmingham, England on Sunday, 15 July 2012.
Russia-based midfielder Nompumelelo Nyandeni’s international experience came in handy as she scored South Africa’s only goal.
With the few remaining days before their departure for London, the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana will brush up on the lessons learnt on tour.
“It’s unfortunate that we went down to Great Britain before the start of a major tournament but we remain optimistic that we will play our hearts out when we the Games begin next week. But it was a good exercise in that it has given us an indication of what to expect in London, and we are under no illusions that we will have to fight hard,” said head coach Joseph Mkhonza.
“We should now use the time we have to prepare ourselves mentally as we now know what lies ahead. The defeat hasn’t damped our spirits, and we still believe we will be highly competitive against the top women’s football nations, and make our country proud.
“The players should now be able to build from their last encounter and focus on doing well in the upcoming tournament,” said Mkhonza.
The Great Britain Olympic team compromises of players from across the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland).
In their first match on tour, Banyana Banyana defeated German Women’s League side, Bayer 04 Leverkusen by the same score-line in a practice match played at Sportschule (Hennef) in Germany on Thursday (12 July 2012).
South Africa will compete in Group F as part of Team SA at the Olympics. They will face Sweden (No 4 in the world) in Coventry on 25 July, Canada (No 7 in the world) in Coventry on 27 July and Japan (No 3 in the world) in Cardiff on 31 July.
The other African representative at the Olympics, Cameroon, is in Group E alongside hosts Great Britain, New Zealand and Brazil.
Banyana Banyana are expected back in the country on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 to round up preparations before departing for the Olympics as part of Team SA.