The South African Women’s National Team are one step closer to qualifying to the Africa Womens Cup of Nation after beating Botswana 2-0 in Lobatse AWCON qualifiers. Banyana will take on Botswana and kickoff 19h00 in Makhulong stadium, Tembisa.
In Lobatse, Banyana regroup in the second half and showed were rewarded with two goals courtesy from Sanah Mollo in 69th and 73rd after a goalless deadlock in the first half.
Banyana head coach Vera Pauw said Botswana women’s football has improved a lot and can not be underestimated.
“I have always maintained that Botswana has improved a lot and we needed to be alert at all times. Our mission was to win the away fixture to lessen the pressure when we meet again in our backyard. The good thing we are still on track to qualify for the women’s AFCON, which has been our target all along. Imagine qualifying for the Olympics but not managing to book a spot in Cameroon, that for us would be a low moment.”
Jockey ambassador and former Banyana captain Amanda Dlamini shares the same sentiment on winning the match and qualifying for Cameroon.
“If we harbour any intentions of winning this match and going to Cameroon, we have to resort to our second half display in Lobatse because in the first half of that match, nothing worked for us. Botswana showed us that they can be a hard to crack, and with that in mind, it is important that we play as a unit and remain compact because if we try to play as individuals we play into their hands”
“Having said that, our focus is on the match. We are so close to qualifying for this tournament but we have to be on toes and not take the 2-0 lead for granted. We still have to work hard to protect this results as it is very important to qualify for the AWCN. Remember after the Olympics Games life must still on, Banyana Banyana programmes must still continue. Playing in these tournaments helps a lot in the development of women’s football in this country.” the experienced Banyana midfielder continued.
Dlamini highlights the possibility of Banyana qualifying for two major tournaments and also wanting to do well in Cameroon.
“It would be great achievement to qualify for two major tournaments in one year- the Olympic Games and the AWCN- and we want to do well in Cameroon because the last time we to the tournament we finished fourth in Nambia, so we need to improve on that. And we believed with the experience we will get in Brazil, we might just go all the way. But first we must defeat Botswana tonight and take it from there.”