29 December 2017 – The South African U20 Women’s National Team (Basetsana) has arrived in Ghana where they will face their counterparts in an international friendly match scheduled for Friday, 20 December 2017 at the Cape Coast Sports Complex, south of Ghana.
Kickoff is at 15h00 local time in Ghana (17h00 SA Time).
The South Africans, arrived in the city on Thursday night (28 December 2017) – prior to that they held their one and only training session on Wednesday, 27 December at the Dobsonville Stadium.
The friendly match has been arranged to help Basetsana as part of preparations for their upcoming crucial third and final round of the 2018 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria pencilled in for Saturday, 13 January 2018, with the return leg a fortnight later in Nigeria.
“After our last match against Burundi early in November, I told the players that if we want to achieve good results we have to do things differently. I always remind them that the last time we faced Nigeria we could not get a friendly game and went into the match cold, without enough practice – now they have reallised that we need to sacrifice and if we do so we will get the results that we want,” said head coach Maud Khumalo.
“I told them its not going to be easy, but then again no one said it will be easy so we are just hopeful that this sacrifice will yield positive results. We are all aware that it is still the festive season, but we wanted to check if they are still in the right shape and also want them to focus on what is at stake – which is Nigeria. There was going to be a long break between the clash against Burundi and Nigeria, so this friendy match against Ghana came at the right time.”
Khumalo has also been monitoring the movements of Nigeria, who are also hard at work with preparations for the big showdown.
“I have learnt that they have been in camp for a long time but are now in recess for the festive holidays. They recently had a training match against a boys team and won that match 3-1. This shows just how serious they are taking this qualifier, and want to leave nothing to chance,” added Khumalo.
“This may also be an indication that they are worried about us having seen the clashes against Burundi and they believe we are improving with every match. Hence the important of this clash against Ghana, it will really help us to face Nigeria when we are in a good shape. The only way we can win against Nigeria is by being focused, self-confident and working as a team. We wanted to camp from now until the Nigeria match, but due to factors beyond our control, we are unable to. It was going to help with team spirit and help the team gel quicker, but whatever we have now, we must make good use of it.”
Khumalo has selected 18 players for the friendly against Ghana – the bulk of the squad faced Burundi in the last qualifier.
Basetsana return to South African on Sunday, 31 December 2017.
They will then go on recess and will report for national team duty in the first week of January 2018 to continue preparations for Nigeria.
“It’s a blessing in disguise to play at home first, this is because I tell the players that they need to dictate matters in the first leg first match and not allow Nigeria to bully them – in that way when we play away we are free to do what we want. But we must not allow them to score against us at home, while on the other hand we need to score so that when we travel we know they will be under pressure to go for goals,” concluded the former Banyana Banyana player.
The 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup will be the 9th edition of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
The tournament will be held in France between 5 and 24 August 2018.
Only two countries will represent Africa at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
Basetsana squad to face Ghana:
- Mapaseka MPURU HPC
- Jessica WILLIAMS Spurs Ladies
- Bongeka GAMEDE HPC
- Antonia MAPONYA HPC/JVW
- Snegugu ZONDI DUT/MIDLANDS
- Morongwa MANAMELA HPC
- Tyla-Bree JOSS JVW
- Siyamthanda MBATHA TOTTENHAM
- Noxolo CESANE CAPE TOWN ROSES/HPC
- Sinoxolo CESANE CAPE TOWN ROSES/HPC
- Linda MOTLHALO HPC/JVW
- Ntombifikile NDLOVU SUNFLOWER LADIES
- Madembe TSHIKUMBU MA-INDIES
- Lelona DAWETI CAPE TOWN ROSES
- Gabriela SALGADO JVW
- Zimasa DEKEDA THUNDERBIRDS
- Khanya NXESI HPC
- Refilwe Thando MASEKO LUSAKA LADIES