31 October 2018– Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana will have the first taste of conditions in Ghana when they take on the hosts in an international friendly match on Sunday, 11 November 2018.
Kickoff is at 16h00 local time in Ghana (18h00 SA time).
The clash is part of preparations for the two nations who have been drawn in apart in the upcoming 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations, to be hosted by Ghana from 17 November and will end on 1 December.
The two countries will face off at the Accra Sports Stadium, the venue for the final and also Banyana Banyana’s last group stage clash against Zambia in the tournament.
“Well to play the host country in Ghana is another step to check our readiness for the tournament. Getting used to the conditions as well as playing a top team like them will give us another different challenge and prepare us for the competition. We will get to experience first hand the atmosphere, which will almost be like what we will go through when the tournament starts,” said Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis.
South Africa has been drawn in Group B alongside Nigeria, Kenya and Zambia, while Ghana will take on Cameroon, Mali and Algeria in Group A.
Banyana Banyana and the Black Stars last met in the 2016 AFCON in Cameroon, with Ghana emerging victorious 1-0 in the third/fourth place place off.
“They are a tough nation to play against, more so because they have been in camp for quite a while now. They have lined up another friendly match against Zambia before they play us, which will give them some momentum, and they will really challenge us- which is what we need,” added Ellis.
“I have always said before that nothing beats playing matches to prepare for a tournament because in that way you are able to pinpoint areas where you need to rectify, so I can only convey my greatest gratitude to both SAFA and the Ghana FA for agreeing to this fixture. I believe it will go a long way in helping both nations prepare thoroughly. After playing the COSAFA Cup we now need to take it a notch higher to get to where we want to be at the end of the AFCON.”
The Accra Sports Stadium is formerly known as the Ohene Djan Stadium and is a 39-800 seater with a grass surface.
In the tournament itself, Banyana Banyana will open their account with a clash against Nigeria, who are the defending champions. Next up will be Kenya before rounding off the group stages when they take on Zambia.
The first two fixtures will be played at the Cape Coast Stadium.
The top two sides in the groups will progress to the semi-finals – and the top three nations will qualify for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France in June.
Ellis is expected to name her final squad of 21 players on Wednesday, 7 November.
South Africa will depart for Ghana on Friday, 9 November.