Banyana Banyana will face The Netherlands in two international friendly matches in Holland.

Banyana Banyana will face The Netherlands in two international friendly matches in Holland.

The first clash against the Orange Lionesses (The Netherlands) will take place behind closed doors on Saturday, 4 June at Mandemakers Stadium, RKC Waalwijk, Waalwijk in The Netherlands; the same day Bafana Bafana play Gambia in an AFCON qualifier.

The Banyana Banyana game kicks off at 15h00.

The second match which will be open to the public is scheduled for Tuesday, 7 June 2016 at the same venue and starts at 19h00.

Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw said she was excited to play Netherlands as this was a great opportunity for her side to pit its strength against some of the best football-playing nations ahead of the Rio Olympic Games.

“We could not have asked for a stronger opposition. This will help us gauge how far we have come with our preparations. I would like to take this moment to thank the South Africa Football Association (SAFA) and our proud sponsors Sasol for working tirelessly to ensure we have the best preparations,” said Pauw.

“I know very well that the players will come out of this fixture with a lot of experience and will know what to expect when we get to Rio. I just hope the girls will be able to learn one or two things from these clashes,” added Pauw.

This will be the first time that Pauw plays her home country – which she coached before – with Banyana Banyana.

The Netherlands fixtures comes hot on the heels of a friendly match against Zimbabwe and is also part of the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana’s preparation for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

South Africa lock horns with Zimbabwe on Sunday, 15 May 2016 at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa.

Kickoff is at 15h00.

The Netherlands are currently ranked 13th in the world, while South Africa is sitting on position 54.

“As an Association we are always striving to do the best we can to help our teams to be better prepared for international assignments. Coach Pauw has made it clear that we want to go to Rio to compete and not make up the numbers. Playing top-ranked nations like Netherlands will assist us in fine-tuning our preparations,” said SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan.

This match also comes at a good time for the Netherlands who are preparing for the 2017 UEFA Women’s Euro Championship, which they are hosting.

The championship runs from 16 July to 7 August.

Said Richard Hughes, Group Sponsorship Manager: Group Branding and Communications at Sasol:

“The upcoming matches in Netherlands will undoubtedly put Sasol Banyana Banyana in good stead ahead of the Olympic Games and as the brand behind the team we have no doubt that the team will make the nation proud.

“Sasol Banyana Banyana have been on an intensive preparations programme and facing the 13th ranked side in the world will do them the world of good as they step up their preparations for Rio.”

In their last four friendly matches, The Orange Lionesses defeated Denmark twice (2-0 and 2-1), beat New Zealand 2-0 and lost 2-1 to Canada.

First international friendly match

DATE: Saturday, 4 June 2016

KICK-OFF: 15h00

VENUE: Mandemakers Stadium, RKC Waalwijk, Waalwijk, The Netherlands

Second international friendly match

DATE: Tuesday, 7 June 2016

KICK-OFF: 19h00

VENUE: Mandemakers Stadium, RKC Waalwijk, Waalwijk, The Netherlands