23 September 2018 – President of the South African Football Association (SAFA) Dr Danny Jordaan, visited the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana squad at their hotel to congratulate them for winning the 2018 COSAFA Women’s Championship after defeating Cameroon 2-1 on Saturday, 22 September 2018.
The match took place at the Wolfson Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
Midfielder Refiloe Jane, who is on her way to join her new club in Australia, scored two goals in each half to give herself a perfect send-off.
With the victory, the South Africans retained the trophy they won in Zimbabwe last year – winning it a record five times in six tournaments. The only time they failed to lift the trophy was when they lost the final to Zimbabwe in 2011.
In Port Elizabeth, Dr Jordaan was watching from the stands alongside, among others, COSAFA President Dr Phillip Chiyangwa, the Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay Mongameli Bobani, SAFA Vice President Ria Ledwaba and several SAFA Council members.
Dr Jordaan praised the fighting spirit of Banyana Banyana players after a hard-fought win against the Central Africans.
“You have done extremely well. Today you showed your mettle against a difficult Cameroon by not allowing them to muscle you off the ball, which is something you did not achieve the last time you met them,” said Dr Jordaan.
“Now to prepare you for the upcoming African Women’s Cup of Nations, we have to look outside the continent for more opposition. You also need to go play the likes of Ghana because it is hot there and you need to acclimatize.”
The SAFA President was also full of compliments for the Senior Women’s National Team for putting smiles on the capacity crowd that came to support – not just in the final, but also throughout the tournament.
“If the team plays well the fans will be behind you. You saw after the final whistle they didn’t go home, but stayed to celebrate with you. They saw that you were fighting to get victory. You showed your quality today and the fans enjoyed every minute of it,” added Dr Jordaan.
“When I was told that the fans have been coming in numbers to all the matches, I said it’s because they are unemployed, and have nothing to do – but that they asked you to come back to Port Elizabeth is because you made them feel special, you put smiles on their faces. You must never underestimate the power you have. You gave the fans energy and hope, and that is what national teams should do – we should never forget that. On behalf of the people of this city, I want to say thank you for what you did during this tournament.”
Dr Jordaan singled out Jane for her outstanding goals that saw South Africa over the line.
“Refiloe showed maturity, calmness and composure when she scored those goals, in particular the second one. Another player would have panicked, but she showed nerves of steel to find the winning goal. What we saw there was all about decision-making, which requires a split second,” said the SAFA President.
“The performance we saw here gives us great hope for this team. We believe that we have a great future in women’s football. But do not rest and think your position is safe, there are many out there who want to be in your shoes so you have to work hard to retain your place. But for now we will celebrate the victory and would like to congratulate you on a good win – and not just the victory but also the tough battle you fought out on that field. You have done yourselves and us proud. Good luck with the Africa Cup of Nations tournament where we believe you will work even harder to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France next year.
Banyana Banyana found the back of the net 13 times and were bridged only two times.
Midfielder Linda Motlhalo walked away with the Golden Boot for her four goals, which made her the top goal scorer in the tournament.
The squad returns home this afternoon (Sunday,23 September 2018) and is expected to land at OR Tambo international airport at 14h35.