Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana have wasted no time in getting down to business as preparations for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup continue.
The South Africans’ next assignment is a clash against world champions and the number one ranked women’s team in the world, USA, in an international friendly match scheduled for Sunday, 12 May 2019 at the Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Kickoff is at 13h45 local time (22h45 South African time).
This will be Banyana Banyana’s eight match as they try to get ready for their maiden world cup, which will be held from 7 June to 7 July in France.
“I have been saying all along that they don’t bigger than this – playing the USA at home is not going to be easy, but then again how do you gauge yourself if you don’t play the big guns,” said Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis.
“We are glad to be back and this upcoming match is just a clear indication of how close we are to the World Cup. The nerves are starting to go into overdrive, which is good becuause if you are not nervous you may end up being complacent. The good thing is we are almost ready with the final squad going to the tournament, and the USA friendly will come in handy as it is the last match before we make the announcement.”
After finishing second in Ghana at the 2018 Women’s AFCON, South Africa has played several matches against international opposition.
They have taken on Sweden, the Netherlands, Korea DPR, Czech Republic, Finland twice and more recently Jamaica.
The USA will perhaps be their toughest match to date, and this will be the second meeting the two nations.
Banyana Banyana assembled for their week-long training camp on Monday, 29 April and have already had two training sessions.
The squad still five training sessions before flying out in the evening on Monday, 6 May.
In the USA, South Africa will be without China-based Linda Motlhalo and Thembi Kgatlana, as well as Leandra Smeda, who plays her football in Sweden – this is due to club commitments.
Jermaine Seoposenwe and Nothando Vilakazi, who recently signed new contracts in Lithuania will be available, together with Spain-based Ode Fuludutilu.
Meanwhile, defender Lebohang Ramalepe has been appointed the second vice captain of Banyana Banyana to join captain Janine van Wyk as well as vice captain Refiloe Jane.