Basetsana captain Amogelang Motau has heaped praise on her teammates saying they had the required mental strength to defeat a hard-running Zambia in the second round of qualifiers for the 2016 Papua New Guinea FIFA u20 Women’s World Cup.
The South African u20 Women’s National won 3-2 on Saturday, 10 October at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa.
“It was a great result that we got, and I think we deserve it because we really fought hard. I just want to give credit to my coach, my teammates for working to the last minute to achieve this victory. This game demanded a lot of mental strength and that’s what we had on the day, and also we had the desire to win. Each and every time they came at us we were also willing to defend so that we do not concede more goals because we knew that if they scored a goal we needed to score too as we were playing at home. I think we handled the pressure well,” said Motau, who worked her socks off in the middle of park.
But she admits that they had a scare when the scores were level at 2-2.
“What went through my mind at that point was that we needed to fight, I kept on saying to myself our journey can’t be over now. I encouraged my teammates, and reminded them that at that point it was not about individuals but about the whole team. I kept thinking if I could get everyone to be at their optimum strength then we can win this game. And I kept saying to them its not over until its over, at the end it worked for us,” added Motau.
The victory was sweet revenge for South Africa as it was Zambia that stopped them dead in their tracks to qualify for the FIFA u17 Women’s World Cup last year. The first leg had ended 3-3 in Lusaka only for home team to lose 1-3 in the return leg in Johannesburg.
“It is sweet revenge and very pleasing because also in that u17 match I was the captain of the team. I took a lot of experience out of that game to use into Saturday’s clash against Zambia. I think we did really well. Now up next is Nigeria and all we have to do is to keep on working hard. I have tiny animals in my team and we can only succeed and achieve our dreams with hard work and the desire to win,” said the Basetsana captain.
Motau worked tirelessly with fellow midfielder Thalea Smidt to thwart any attack from Zambia.
“It was very nerve-wrecking and when it was 2-2 we almost lost our heads and we wanted that goal, we wanted to be in the lead. We encouraged each other to push more, we all showed eagerness to get the third goal and we managed to get it and we were able to hold on. I am very happy for the team,” said Smidt.
“It was a vey scary situation every time they scored because it meant we were chasing and we all know if the match had ended at 1-1 or 2-2 we would not have made it so that is why we kept on pushing until the very end.“
She is also looking forward to the clash against Nigeria.
“We will go back to the drawing board and make some improvements where we need to. We will train harder and prepare well for Nigeria. The team will go there with the same attitude and objective as we had in the Zambia match because we have one goal, and that is to get to Papua New Guinea. The aim is to go out there and give our all,” added Smidt.
South Africa and Nigeria meet in a fortnight (23-25 October 2015).