4 March 2019– Head coach of the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana, Desiree Ellis, says they must win their final Group A fixture against the Czech Republic this afternoon (Monday, 4 March 2019) in the Cyprus Women’s Cup.
The clash takes place at the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium in Larnaca, kicking off at 13h00.
The result will determine where South Africa ends up in the tournament – last year they finished in 6th place.
Following unfavourable results against Finland and Korea DPR in the first two matches of the competition – where they could only get a 2-2 draw and suffered a 4-1 loss respectively – Banyana Banyana is currently is bottom of the table with just one point – five adrift of leaders Korea DPR. Second is Czech Republic on three points, while Finland is third with one point too.
Ellis has made four changes for the Czech Republic clash, bringing back Andile Dlamini in goals after she sat on the bench for second match – she was in goals in the first game.
The defence remains unchanged – captain Janine van Wyk in central defence with Bambanani Mbane, with Lebohang Ramalepe, who scored South Africa’s solitary goal against Korea DPR is at right back, while Leandra Smeda continuing at left back.
Kholosa Biyana gets her first start in a long time for Banyana Banyana as the takes the place of Nompumelelo Nyandeni – she will operate in the middle alongside Refiloe Jane and Mamello Makhabane, with Linda Motlhalo, as well as Amanda Mthandi, who comes in for Thembi Kgatlana, will be on the wings.
Rhoda Mulaudzi returns to the starting line-up after she was ruled out of the last match with a hamstring injury she suffered during the warm-up and was replaced on the day by Karabo Dhlamini.
Great milestones await defender Noko Matlou and Thembi Kgatlana, should they make it onto the field today.
They are on 149 and 49 caps respectively.
This is how they will line up:
South Africa vs Czech Republic (4 March 2019 – Cyprus Cup)
Andile Dlamini (GK), Lebohang Ramalepe, Leandra Smeda, Bambanani Mbane, Janine van Wyk (c), Linda Motlhalo, Refiloe Jane, Mamello Makhabane, Kholosa Biyana, Amanda Mthandi, Rhoda Mulaudzi
Kaylin Swart (GK), Victoria Muroa (GK), Noko Matlou,Nothando Vilakazi, Tiisetso Makhubela, Busisiwe Ndimeni, Karabo Dhlamini, Jermaine Seoposenwe, Molatelo Sebata, Thembi Kgatlana, Nompumelelo Nyandeni
Not in Match-Day squad:
Koketso Tlailane (injured)
Coach: Desiree Ellis