The South African Women’s National Team will face USA in an international friendly on Saturday 9 July 2016 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Sasol Banyana are in camp and the match against the Americans will fall under Banyana final intensive Rio Olympics training programme. Kick-off is at 12h00 and 19h00 local time (SA time).
SAWNT has a few number of players who have reached over 100 caps for the national team and will be looked upon to lead the team against the US and in Rio. The highest capped players in the team currently are captain Janine van Wyk 130 and her central defender partner Noko Matlou is on 123 followed by Nompumelelo Nyandeni and retired forward Portia Modise with 124 caps each.
And experienced Banyana midfielder Nompumelelo Nyandeni understands that it will be a mammoth task against the reigning world champion the US. Nyandeni said: “I think its going to be a difficult match because firstly there are no easy teams in international competition, secondly they are the world champions. They have a lot of experience and it is important for us to go there and learn as much as possible before the Olympics. We are the underdogs and the USA has been at the top for a long time, so this is a very appropriate game to gauge ourselves. After, this match, when we get to Rio we should already know what to expect.”
Nyandeni has practical experience of playing at the highest level and playing quality opposition, the former Rossiyanka FC player in Russia has played UEFA champions league. Rossiyanka FC in the 2013 season reached the quarter-finals of UEFA champions league but were beaten by German side VFL Wolfsburg 0-2. The midfielder, reflects on the matches Banyana played against the Netherlands a few weeks ago.
“I learnt that in international football you need to release the ball early, always strive to play forward in search of goals, and most importantly to play as a team. There has been a lot of improvement since the Holland game- and we saw at our first training session after our return that we are doing thing differently, in a positive way. I think as a team we have moved another step forward.”