Banyana well-seasoned for Africa cup after Chile

Banyana Banyana training session at Nelson Mandela University on September 06, 2018 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Banyana Banyana training session at Nelson Mandela University on September 06, 2018 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Image: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images

Banyana Banyana skipper Janine van Wyk and midfielder Thembi Kgatlana are confident that the two international friendly matches against Chile have put them on the road to success at the Africa Women Cup of Nations scheduled for Ghana in November.

The national women’s side recently had two showdowns with Chile as part of their preparations for the Cup, recording a loss and a draw. On Saturday, they lost 2-1. That was followed by a 2-2 draw on Tuesday night, and Van Wyk said Chile gave them a terrific workout.

“It was a good challenge for us. We played a physical team – [it] is what we [will] be facing at the Africa Women Cup of Nations,” the defender said.

“We will be up against tough and physical opponents – that is exactly what Chile were in the past two games.

“We have learnt a lot taking from what we have done here, away from everything.

“I think going into [the Africa Cup] we have a few things we have to touch up on.

“We need to go back and work on defending set pieces because that is a weakness we need to strengthen a little bit.”

Kgatlana, who scored Banyana’s second goal in the 2-2 draw against Chile, is adamant that they should have won that friendly encounter as the team were on top of their game.

However, the 22-year-old player said the team’s overall performance had given them a confidence boost.

“There is still more hard work to be done.

“Playing international teams and African teams is slightly different – African teams are physical.

“Everyone in Africa, when they play against South Africa, bring their A game.

“We are about a month from [the Africa Cup] and with such a performance in our last match we are confident.

“We need a bit more time as a team to get to know each other before [the Cup], but after that we should be good,” Kgatlana said.

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