The South African u20 Women’s National Team, Basetsana are hopeful of erasing the memories of losing to Zambia early last year in an u17 World Cup qualifier.
After holding the Zambians to a 3-all draw in Zambia, the South Africans lost the second leg at home 3-1 and missed out on going to the u17 Women’s World Cup held in Costa Rica in March in 2014. The tournament was won by Japan, with Spain claiming silver.
The two nations square up again – this time in the upper level of u20 – for qualification to the 2016 Papua New Guinea u20 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
They meet on Sunday, 27 September at the Nkoloma Stadium in Lusaka in the first leg.
Kickoff is at 15h00.
The South Africans will complete their preparations this afternoon (Saturday, 26 September) having arrived in the country on Thursday night.
SAFA Media spoke to u20 captain Amogelang Motau after their training session on Friday, 25 September. Motau was a member of the u17 squad that lost to Zambia.
Matlhomola Morake: Big game against Zambia, what are your thoughts?
Amogelang Motau: Zambia will come very hard at us because they have expectations – they have beaten us before. They have been saying in their local media that they will do it again, but we are going out there to show them that this time is different and we intend to change the situation around.
MM: Do you remember the last meeting with them?
AM: Yes I do, as though it was yesterday. It was in 2014 in the beginning of the year. We played to a 3-all draw in the first leg in Zambia, and we stayed in the same hotel as we are today. We were hoping to finish off the home game but unfortunately we lost 3-1 to them in the u17 National Team. Most of the players from both countries who played in that match have graduated into the u20 National Team, so we will be meeting again.
MM: But as you say it’s a different ball game….
AM: It is indeed. We are more experienced now and some of our girls like myself, Chamelle Wiltshire, Puleng Moremi and Lesego Nkoane (who is not in the current team) played for both the U17 and u20 teams back then. We played against the likes of Nigeria and we know how it feels like to lose and we also know how it feels like to win. We want it as bad as they want it, we also want to experience the joy of winning and going to the World Cup.
MM: What would winning this game mean to you? How much do you want to go to the world cup?
AM: Let me put it this way, we have been waiting for a long time for this match. We have trained long and hard just to do well in this game so we can realise the dream of going to the world cup. I think we deserve it because we have worked hard, in fact, I think we deserve it more than they do. We want to fulfill our dream of going to the world cup.
MM: What would be the ideal result on Sunday?
AM: The only ideal result would be to beat Zambia so they don’t recover for the second leg, we don’t want to give them a chance or any hope of winning in the second leg, but we know it will not be easy and we just have to work as hard as we can to get a positive result.
MM: You sound very passionate about this match, is that the feeling of the whole team?
AM: Yes it is, and wherever we see there is no amount of passion or ambition to win this game we try and transfer it to our teammates. As a captain I try to convey to the others the importance of this match, we try by all means to have the same feeling and atmosphere in the team because it is only when we are united that we will get victory.
MM: Would victory this weekend take away the pain of the last loss?
AM: That is not the intention, but then again it would be the stepping stone to taking away that pain. Our aim is to go to the world cup and we have two legs to focus on. The target is to start on a high and end at the same level when we play at home.
MM: Millions of South Africans are rooting for this team to do well…
AM: I just want to say to them they should rally behind the team, we need their support. We can conquer Zambia, we just need South Africans to believe in us and then we can hopefully deliver.
Basetsana return to South Africa on Monday, 28 September. The second leg will be played in a fortnight.
Referee: Letticia Antonella Viana Swaziland
Ass. Referee 1: Mkhaliphi P. Buyile Swaziland
Ass. Referee 2: Siphiwayinkosi c. Nxumalo Swaziland
4th Official: Letchia Manga Namibia
Match Commissioner: Madeleine Ekene wa Maluka DR Congo