18 December 2021 – The search for their maiden appearance at a FIFA World Cup tournament continues for Basetsana.

Their dream to be part of festivities in Costa Rica for the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup came to an abrupt end when they were held to a goalless draw by Uganda in the second leg third round of the qualifiers at the Dobsonville Stadium on Friday (17 December 2021).

The result means that the Cranes advanced to the fourth round of the African U-20 World Cup qualifiers 1-0 on aggregate following their victory a fortnight ago in Uganda, with the goal coming from Hadijah Nandago.

The visitors came into this fixture knowing that they needed to avoid defeat to progress to the next phase where they will face either Ghana or Zambia – the two clash on Saturday (18 Saturday 2021) in Cape Coast.

Despite missing some key players due to Covid 19 complications, South Africa got off to a good start in Dobsonville but could not penetrate the solid Uganda defence.

Both sides created numerous scoring chances, especially in the second half but none could find the back of the net.

The sounding of the whistle at the end of the 90 minutes regulation time led to jubilant scenes from the visitors as they knew their job was done and they were moving on to the next assignment.
As for South Africa, it was another missed opportunity to continue their campaign for a World Cup place.

Basetsana still hold the tag of being the only South African national team to have not played at the event.

Bantwana (the South African u17 Women’s National Team) have featured two times before in the competition – Trinidad and Tobago 2010 under coach Solly Luvhengo and Uruguay 2018 led by former Banyana Banyana captain and defender Simphiwe Dludlu.

In the men’s section, former Bafana Bafana mentor Molefi Ntseki was in charge of Amajimbos (SA U17 Men’s National Team) when they qualified for their maiden FIFA World Cup in Chile in 2015.

Thabo Senong led the South African U20 Men’s National Team (Amajita) to back to back World Cup tournaments – South Korea 2017 and Poland 2019. Prior to that the team had played in the 1997 and 2009 editions in Malaysia and Egypt respectively.

Bafana Bafana have made three appearances at the world football showpiece – France 1998 (Phillipe Troussier), Korea and Japan 2002 (Jomo Sono) as well as hosting one in 2010 (Carlos Alberto Parreira).

More recently, Banyana Banyana, under the tutelage of their former player, Desiree Ellis, qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France – their maiden tournament.

Led by the host nation, nine countries have already qualified for the 2022 edition of the FIFA U20 Women’s in Costa Rica, with seven place still up for grabs in the 16-nation competition:

Qualified Teams For Costa 2022:

  • Costa Rica (as hosts)
  • North Korea
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • New Zealand
  • Spain
  • France
  • Germany
  • Netherlands

It will be the second time Costa Rica host a FIFA tournament after the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

FACT FILE: (source – FIFA.com)
The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup is an international association football tournament, organized by FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), for national teams of women under the age of 20. The tournament is held in even-numbered years. It was first conducted in 2002 as the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship with an upper age limit of 19.

In 2006, the age limit was raised to the current 20. The event was renamed as a World Cup effective with the 2008 competition, making its name consistent with FIFA’s other worldwide competitions for national teams.

A total of 16 teams are eligible to qualify for the final. Aside from the hosts who are given automatic qualification, 15 teams secure qualification from the six continents (Asia, Africa, South America, North America, Oceania, and Europe).