31 October 2019 – Head coach of the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana, Desiree Ellis, has named a squad of 22 players to take on former World Champions Japan in an international friendly match scheduled for Sunday, 10 November 2019.
The match will be played at the Kitakyushu Stadium in Fukuoka, Japan.
Kickoff is at 05h45 South African time – Japan is seven hours ahead).
“This is a big test for us, more so because it comes at the back of a loss in the Olympic qualifiers. This is a great test of character for the players as we will be facing one of the most formidable sides in women’s football, who have won the World Cup,” said Ellis.
“We also haven’t played in a while but I am confident that with most players having featured for their clubs regularly, we will stand our ground. Once again a big thank you to SAFA and our sponsor Sasol for making this match happen – we are eternally grateful.”
Ellis has kept the bulk of the squad that did duty in Banyana Banyana’s last match – against Botswana in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers early in September.
The former Ellis has called up Nomvula Kgoale, who was last in the national team in the friendly match agaisnt the USA. Also returning are China-based Thembi Kgatlana and Linda Motlhalo – the duo missed the Botswana clash, while Jessica Williams and Ongeziwe Ndlangisa also got the nod. Both were part of the pre-World Cup training squad.
There is only one new cap – Lelona Daweti who plays for Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies. She has been capped in the U-17 and U-20 Women’s National Teams.
“This is a once-off game where you can’t make wholesale changes or bring in many new players but I believe we have selected the best available players we have, more so because some of those we wanted are busy with exams,” added Ellis.
Missing out are captain Janine van Wyk, who is still recovering from a knee injury – Italy-based Refiloe Jane will lead the team.
Also not travelling to the Far East are Hilda Magaia, Amanda Mthandi, Bongeka Gamede, Karabo Dhlamini and Sibulele Holweni who are all busy with exams.
This will be the second ever ever meeting between the two nations, and Ellis knows all too well that they are a very formidable side.
The first match was at the London Olympic Games in July 2012 in the group stages, and it ended in a goalless draw at Millenium Stadium in Cardiff.
Some of the players from the current squad that was at that match include Robyn Moodaly, Nothando Vilakazi, Leandra Smeda, Noko Matlou, Refiloe Jane.
This is also a special game for Smeda who could be joining the 100-cap club that includes Janine van Wyk, Amanda Dlamini, Portia Modise, Mamello Makhabane, Nompumelelo Nyandeni, Matloue and Jane.
Japan has invited Banyana Banyana as part of their practice as they will be hosting the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – they have automally qualified.
The Games run from 24 July to 9 August.
The Asians are ranked 10thin the world, with Banyana Banyana coming in at 55.
Banyana Banyana Logistics:
- Squad assembles on Tuesday, 5 November in Johannesburg
- Travels the same day to Japan
- 1ststop Hong Kong – in transit
- Fly next day to Fukuoka
- Train on 7th, 8th& 9th
- Face Japan on the 10th
- Practice match on the 11th
- Fly out on the 12thback to South Africa
FIXTURE: Japan vs. South Africa
DATE: Sunday, 10 November 2019
VENUE: Kitakyushu Stadium
MATCH TITLE: International Friendly Match
KICK-OFF TIME: 05h45 South African time – Japan is seven hours ahead
FACT FILE – JAPAN WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM:
- Japan women’s national football team is also know as Nadeshiko Japan
- Plays under the Asian Football Confederation (AFC)
- First Asian team to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup
- Nadeshiko Japan defeated the United States in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, becoming only the fourth women’s world champions
- Won silver at the 2012 Summer Olympics and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup,making it the only Asian team to have three combined medals from international championships.
BANYANA BANYANA SQUAD vs JAPAN
|NAME AND SURNAME||POSITION||CLUB||LOCATION||PROVINCE|
|1. Andile DLAMINI||GK||Mamelodi Sundowns FC||Pretoria||GAUTENG|
|2. Kaylin SWART||GK||UNATTACHED||Johannesburg||GAUTENG|
|3. Jessica WILLIAMS||GK||Spurs WFC||Cape Town||WESTERN CAPE|
|4. Lebogang RAMALEPE||DF||Ma- Indies FC||Polokwane||LIMPOPO|
|5. Bambanani MBANE||DF||Bloemfontein Celtic FC||Bloemfontein||FREE STATE|
|6. Nothando VILAKAZI||DF||UNATTACHED||Johannesburg||GAUTENG|
|7. Tiisetso MAKHUBELA||DF||Tshwane University of Technology||Pretoria||GAUTENG|
|8. Noko Matlou||DF||1st Touch Academy||Polokwane||LIMPOPO|
|9. Ongeziwe NDLANGISA||DF||Sunflower FC||Durban||KWA ZULU NATAL|
|10. Leandra SMEDA||MF||Vittsjo GIK||Sweden||Sweden|
|11.Mamello MAKHABANE||MF||JVW FC||Johannesburg||GAUTENG|
|12. Busisiwe NDIMENI||MF||Tshwane University of Technology||Pretoria||GAUTENG|
|13. Refiloe JANE||MF||AC Milan||Milan||ITALY|
|14. Kholosa BIYANA||MF||University of Western Cape||Cape Town||WESTERN CAPE|
|15. Linda MOTLHALO||MF||Beijing BG Phoenix FC||Johannesburg||GAUTENG|
|16. Robyn MOODALY||MF||JVW FC||Johannesburg||GAUTENG|
|17. Noxolo CESANE||MF||University of Western Cape||Cape Town||WESTERN CAPE|
|18. Nomvula KGOALE||MF||Tshwane University of Technology||Pretoria||GAUTENG|
|19. Jermaine SEOPOSENWE||FW||UNATTACHED||Lithuania||LITHUANIA|
|20. Rhoda MULAUDZI||FW||Mamelodi Sundowns FC||Pretoria||GAUTENG|
|21. Thembi KGATLANA||FW||Beijing BG Phoenix FC||China||CHINA|
|22. Lelona DAWETI||FW||Mamelodi Sundowns FC||Pretoria||GAUTENG|