Banyana Banyana is taking a 1-0 advantage into their second leg third round clash against Kenya but will not let that disturb from their mission of winning the match.

Banyana Banyana is taking a 1-0 advantage into their second leg third round clash against Kenya but will not let that disturb from their mission of winning the match.

The South Africans meet the Harambe Starlets of Kenya in a second leg third round 2016 Rio Olympic qualifier on Sunday, 2 August 2015.

The match takes place at the Machakos Stadium in Kenya.

Kickoff is at 14h30 South African time.

The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana have already had their first training session at the match venue, and will complete preparations on Saturday afternoon (1 August).

SAFA Media sat down with head coach Vera Pauw to get her thoughts on their assignment.

Matlhomola Morake: We have arrived in Machakos, just under 24 hours before the match, are we ready for the match?

Vera Pauw: We are almost there. We are very happy that we put so much energy just to get the right circumstances here – being close to the stadium, having a good hotel – with the help of a lot of people we managed to get all of that – and that has been very crucial. Now it is up to us, we have been training well and everybody is fit. We just have to cross the T’s and dot the I’s. We are raring to go, we have to fire.

MM: You trained at the match venue on Friday…..

VP: Yes and in all honesty it is not like Dobsonville, and it will not benefit our play because it is not very flat, but we have to adjust to it. We just have to do our job on matchday.

MM: How important is this match for you knowing that past this one we will be just two matches away from Rio?

VP: What I always say is that I am there to help the players succeed, so for the players it is very crucial and therefore it is also crucial to me. For some of the players it could be the last chance to go to such a tournament while for some it is the start of their careers and it then becomes a huge opportunity to showcase their talents when they compete at the highest level after the World Cup. That said, I am certain all the players are aware of the importance of this game because if it doesn’t go well then we are out of this journey and this group does not deserve that, they deserve more than that. But in top level sport, deserving something is nothing – you have to go out there and do it yourself, you have to perform. We saw at the AWC in Namibia that if you not focussed in one match then it can be over quickly, so we need to really go out there and do it.

MM: A draw is good enough …….

VP: We are not a team that can play defensively. We do not have a team that can park the bus and close them down and hope for a chance to score. Because of the mobility and creativity we have in this team, someone might make a mistake by dribbling in our half and we get punished, so that cannot be the approach for this team. Our team has a decent organisation ability that makes us go forward and that is what we will do because it is our strength. We will not sit back, we will not play for a draw, we will go for a win but we are also aware and realistic that if we do not concede we are through to the next round……

MM: Yes coach……

VP: It will also depend on the game, if we stand our ground and not allow them a chance to score the team will have qualified. We need to see how the game goes and the players have to stick to their duties optimally, they should not allow for silly mistakes but just put a lot of effort to play the best game ever. They must feel free to go forward, change positions but all within the framework of teamwork and organisation that we have. If they show that then we will get a good result.

MM: Playing away from home in front of oppositon fans, is that a factor?

VP: Our team is never bothered by the opposition crowd and I don’t think that it can influence them now. As long as they play as a team, stay connected and play as a unit then half the job is done. But then again it’s football, we need to ensure that the results go our way. If you are not convinving, and the teamwork drops then we will be in trouble.

The winner between Kenya and South Africa and Kenya will meet the victors from the clash between Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria in the third and final round of the qualifiers. Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea ended in a 1-all stalemate in the first leg in Abuja two weeks ago.

Two teams will emerge to represent Africa at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in Brazil from 3-20 August.

In the other stream, the winner between Cameroon vs Ghana will face the winner Cote d’Ivoire and Zimbabwe.

Match Offials – Kenya vs South Africa:

Referee: Bedoui Gharbi Moni Tunisia
1st Assistant: Hached Amel Tunisia
2nd Assistant: Hendaoui Chefia Tunisia
4th Official: Abdeljaoued Lilia Tunisia
Match Commissioner: Isabella Kapera Hussein Tanzania

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