24 May 2018– Head coach of the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana, Desiree Ellis, has announced a squad of 24 players to face Lesotho in the second round of the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The first leg will be played on Wednesday, 6 June at the Setsoto Stadium in Maseru, Lesotho.
Kickoff is at 15h00.
“This is the start of the Road to the World Cup in France. We have played Lesotho before and even though we beat them, this is a new game and a different occasion. Victory will get us to the 2018 AWCON in Ghana, but we are all aware that no game is as easy as it seems and we have to be on top of our game to get a positive result in the first leg. We need to start on a good footing so we can finish the business at home,” said Ellis.
Ellis has kept the bulk of the squad that played in the Cyprus Cup in March.
She has included three new faces in the squad – Karabo Dhlamini (Women’s U17) and Khanya Xesi (Women’s U20 squad), as well as Hilda Magaia, who has starred for TUT this season.
The former Banyana Banyana captain has also recalled three uncapped players – Mapaseka Mpuru, who was with the Senior Women’s National Team during preparations for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games; Thato Letsoso, who was in the squad for the Burkina Faso clash and Gabriela Salgado, who was at the selection camp for the 2017 COSAFA Cup.
After her good performances in the Cyprus Women’s Cup, Noko Matlou has been included as a striker – a position she now regularly plays for her club.
Also making a return after a long absence due to injury is midfielder Mamello Makhabane. She was injured during the 2016 Sasol League National Championship, and has only recently returned to the game.
Goalkeeper Yolula Tsawe is also back – she was last in the squad for the friendly international against Sweden in January this year.
After her good performances in Cyprus Cup, Noko Matlou has been included as a striker – a position she now regularly plays for her club.
“We have mixed the squad with a bit of youth and experience. We were fortunate to attend a USSA Selection trials in Cape Town recently, and also watched all the Sasol teams in Gauteng on Saturday (19 May) and also had National selection trials the next day. We also allowing the overseas based players to settle in at their clubs and this gives us an opportunity for other players to raise their hands,” added Ellis.
None of the overseas-based players have been called up.
Also not in the squad is striker Sduduzo Dlamini who has a hamstring injury, and Kholosa Biyana, who has just recently returned to the game after recovering from her injuries that kept her out of the Cyprus Cup squad.
Banyana Banyana assemble for camp on Friday, 1 June 2018 in Johannesburg and will later travel to Bloemfontein where they will have their training camp and will then move to Lesotho on Sunday, 3 June.
The return match will take place at a venue still to be confirmed on Sunday, 10 June.
Banyana Banyana Squad – vs Lesotho 1-10 June 2018
|1. Andile Dhlamini||Mamelodi Sundowns FC||Pretoria|
|2. Mapaseka Mpuru||Tuks||Johannesburg|
|3. Roxanne Barker||UWC Ladies||Cape Town|
|4. Yolula Tsawe||JVW FC||Johannesburg|
|5. Lebogang Ramalepe||Maindis FC||Polokwane|
|6. Nothando Vilakazi||Palace Super Falcons FC||Johannesburg|
|7. Zanele Nhlapho||Mamelodi Sundowns FC||Pretoria|
|8. Bambanani Mbane||Bloemfontein Celtic||Bloemfontein|
|9. Regina Mogolola||TUKS||Pretoria|
|10. Karabo Dhlamini||Mamelodi Sundowns FC||Johannesburg|
|11. Thato Letsoso||University of Johannesburg||Johannesburg|
|12. Kgaelebane Mohlakoana||Bloemfontein Celtic||Bloemfontein|
|13. Rachel Sebati||TUT-PTA||Pretoria|
|14.Mamello Makhabane||JVW FC||Johannesburg|
|16.Leandra Smeda||UWC Ladies||Cape Town|
|17.Nompumelelo Nyandeni||JVW FC||Johannesburg|
|18. Hilda Magaia||TUT-PTA||Johannesburg|
|19. Gabriela Salgado||JVW FC||Johannesburg|
|20.Jermaine Seoposenwe||UWC Ladies||Cape Town|
|21. Melinda Kgadiete||Bloemfontein Celtic||Bloemfontein|
|22. Chantelle Esau||Mamelodi Sundowns FC||Pretoria|
|23.Khanya Xesi||UWC Ladies||Cape Town|