The South African Senior Women’s National Team (Banyana Banyana) has safely arrived in in Chicago, Illinois after a travel of about 32 hours.

The South African Senior Women’s National Team (Banyana Banyana) has safely arrived in in Chicago, Illinois after a travel of about 32 hours.

The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana left OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening (5 July) and only reached their hotel late in the afternoon of Wednesday, 6 July.

The South Africans flew to Dakar, Senegal where they made a stopover of about an hour and a half then continued to Washington DC. After a four-hour wait they then proceeded to Chicago – which is seven hours behind South Africa.

Banyana Banyana head coach Vera Pauw admitted it was a taxing trip.

“It has been a tough trip, it was very long and took us about 32 hours to reach our destination – which is much longer than we had anticipated. To adapt to that we had to make some changes to our programme. Instead of what we usually do – that is staying up as long as possible to get over jetlag – we did things differently. We let the players sleep early enough to get some rest so that come Saturday we still in the balance. After a long travel like that we had to do some loosening up, which we did at a nearby park from our hotel. This is almost the same thing the team will experience when we travel to Brazil for the Olympics, but it will be a shorter flight as it is in the Southern Hemisphere,” said Pauw.

Banyana Banyana are in Chicago to face the United States Women’s National Team on Saturday, 9 July as part of preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games next month.

The clash will take place at Soldiers Field.

Kickoff is at 19h00 South African time (12h00 in Chicago).

Banyana Banyana continue with their preparations for the match later today.

This is the first time the two nations meet in women’s football.

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