The South African Women’s Senior National Team has completed its preparations for the crucial second leg All Africa Games qualifier against Botswana. The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana had their final training session on Friday afternoon (10 April) at the AW Muller Stadium at the University of Johannesburg under the watchful eye of head coach Vera Pauw. The South Africans and their neighbours will lock horns on Saturday, 11 April at the Dobsonville Stadium.
Kick-off is at 14:00. This clash will be followed by an encounter between the South African Under-23 National Team and Sudan at 16:00 at the same venue in a return leg of the same All Africa Games qualifiers. South Africa lost the first leg 2-0 in Sudan. Kick-off is at 16h00.
Banyana Banyana are enjoying a one nil lead from the first leg, and will book their ticket to the tournament in Congo in September if the results stay the same. Should the visitors reverse the result, the match will head straight into penalties to decide the winner. A 1-1 draw will see South Africa go through, while a 2-1 win for Botswana will give the neighbours victory, as they would have scored more goals away.
Banyana Banyana have a good record against their opponents – in eight matches between the two nations, South Africa has registered seven victories and one loss. The visitors seem to have a leaky defence against the home side with 40 goals scored by Vera Pauw’s charges to only one against them. In their first match in 2002, Banyana Banyana banged the net 14 times with no reply from Botswana.
In September last year they almost repeated the same feat, but were four goals short. Botswana’s only victory, and only goal, came in 2011 in an All Africa Games qualifier, but in the return leg, played in Botswana, South Africa won 4-0. The 2015 All Africa Games will be played from 3-18 September.
The two matches will be attended by, among others, Minister of Sports and Recreation South Africa, Fikile Mbalula and the President of the South African Football Association (SAFA) Dr Danny Jordaan. A moment of silence will be observed ahead of the matches in honour of fallen heroes, the legendary Dr Steve Kalamazoo Mokone and former Bafana Bafana and Free State Stars striker Richard “Kimberley Express” Henyekane, with all the teams wearing black armbands. A few hours before the first match, a memorial service will be held at the FNB Stadium for Dr Mokone, while Henyekane will be laid to rest during the day in Galeshewe, Kimberley.