South Africa’s under-20 national women’s soccer team have completed their first-ever international tour with a two-nil loss to their Dutch counterparts in Holland on Sunday, but have done so with honour.
Speaking to gsport on her way to Nice, France, to represent the African Football Confederation (CAF) at the UEFA Youth workshop, South African women’s soccer team manager Fran Hilton-Smith was enthusiastic about the team’s prospects.
"[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][We] lost 2-0," said Hilton-Smith. "Still, the girls put up a good show. Had some chances, but did not use them. For a first venture overseas with a newly-assembled team, I am very happy and positive about our World Cup qualification chances."
Basetsana’s loss to the Netherlands follows their morale-boosting 1-1 draw against U20 European and World Champions Germany on November 22, which comes as part of their preparations for the Women’s U20 FIFA 2008 World Cup in Chile, South America.
Germany have already qualified for the World Cup alongside UEFA powerhouses France, England and Norway, while the South Africans begin their qualification route against Mozambique at home on the weekend of the 11 January, and travel to Mozambique for the return leg on the weekend of the 25 January, 2008.
Basetsana will have to qualify in a home-and-away tournament in a group of 16 teams, including Cameroon, Benin, Nigeria, Congo, Ghana, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, DR Congo, Zambia and Egypt.
For more info, visit the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Chile 2008 website.