Preparations are in full swing for the South African Women’s Under-20 National Team (Basetsana) World Cup qualifier against neighbours Botswana.
The match will be played on Sunday, 12 July at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto. Kick-off is at 15h00.
Basetsana have been in camp since Monday, conducting their training sessions in Bedfordview.
“Preparations are going very well. We are fortunate to have 11 players in this team who have been part of the national teams before. We also have players selected from selection camps around the country which has brought new blood, so I believe we have a strong squad to compete,” said Fran Hilton-Smith, Head of Women’s Football.
South Africa and Botswana meet over two legs. The second leg will be played in a fortnight.
“It is not an easy fixture – four or five players in the Botswana squad also play in the senior side and also Botswana is one of the up and coming teams doing a lot of development, so it is going to be a tough match. Everybody wants to go to the world cup – we have to really go out there and give it our all to ensure we proceed to the next round,” added Hilton-Smith.
Victory for Basetsana will pit them against the winner between Tanzania and Zambia.
The third and final round will be played on the weekend of 23-25 October with the return leg set for 6-8 November 2015.
“Last year we should have qualified but were very unlucky after conceding a silly goal but we have since worked on such mistakes. We have good quality goalkeepers in the squad and we are confident this time we can turn it around. We also might have to face old foes Nigeria in the final round, but I think we can prepare for that – we have time and we have a lot of plans in place. For once we are looking forward to starting this campaign of getting to the world cup on a high,” concluded Hilton-Smith.
The South Africans will complete their preparation at the match venue on Saturday afternoon (11 July) starting at 13h30.
Botswana, who have already arrived in the country, will follow at 15h00 at the same venue.
The 2016 FIFA Women’s Under-20 World Cup tournament will be held in Papua New Guinea from 28 October to 16 November.
Sixteen teams will participate in the tournament – with only two from Africa.