South Africa’s senior women’s soccer team has suffered a second humiliating defeat at the hands of Nigeria’s Super Falcons, who capitalised on heavy rain and poor defensive play to walk to a comprehensive 5-0 win in Abuja, Nigeria, on Saturday.
Janine Van Wyk
Less than a week after suffering a humiliating 4-0 defeat at the hands of Africa’s dominant force in women’s football, Banyana Banyana tackle these arch-enemies on their soil again today, in search of that elusive 1½ Olympic qualifications afforded to Africa at next year’s Olympic Games, in Beijing.
Having made it through to the third and final round of Olympic qualifiers, South Africa’s senior women’s soccer team have achieved something fantastic, and their progress to face Nigeria in this past Sunday’s All Africa Games is testament to their re-emergence as among the continent’s best proponents of the beautiful game.
Banyana Banyana coach Augustine Makalakalane’s side faces a dominant Nigeria in this evening’s All Africa Games final at the Aout Stadium in Algeria, as the continent’s best fight out for the crown of the ninth edition of the All-Africa Games.
Banyana Banyana progressed on Sunday with another win in their All Africa Games campaign, this time a 3-1 win over Ethiopia, and speaking to gsport on Monday, Fran Hilton-Smith expressed her happiness with the team’s performance.
Banyana Banyana have emerged as top contenders for two possible African berths in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, after twice coming from behind to beat Zimbabwe 3-2 in Harare on Saturday, in a draining encounter.
The South African women’s soccer team face Zimbabwe in a second round Olympic qualifier in Harare on Saturday needing a crucial away win, to progress to the next round of qualifiers for the 2008 Olympics.
Home favourites Banyana Banyana prevailed 2-1 in front of a patriotic crowd at the Caledonian Stadium in Pretoria on Sunday, during their Beijing Olympic qualifier against Zimbabwe.
“Obviously the pressure is on us and on them, because both teams want a spot in the World Cup, so it’s going to be flat-out stuff tonight,” a confident Fran Hilton-Smith told gsport today, as Banyana Banyana prepares for their final hurdle in efforts to reach the FIFA 2007 Women’s World Cup.
The South African National Women’s Soccer Squad, Banyana Banyana leave for Nigeria from the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg at 3:30pm this afternoon, and their flight will be all the more significant for having just met former South African President, Nelson Mandela.