13 July 2022– The SASOL-sponsored Banyana Banyana will continue their quest to qualify for the 2023 World Cup when they face Tunisia in the quarterfinals of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) in Morocco on Thursday, 14 July 2022.
In a week affected by a spate of injuries and Covid-19 cases, Banyana Banyana remain focused on securing a World Cup qualification berth and passage to the semifinals of WAFCON on Thursday will guaranteed the spot.
Banyana Banyana midfielder Thalea Smidt said the well-documented challenges they have faced this week have not shaken their resolve and the players are ready to fight against Tunisia.
“We sympathize with Thembi [Kgatlana, who was ruled out of the WAFCON on Monday after sustaining a ruptured Achilles tendon in Banyana Banyana’s Group C match against Botswana on Sunday] and we know she is a strong-minded individual who will rise above the injury. But the mood in camp has not changed because as players we know our objective, we know why we are here, and so this is a chance for all the players to raise their hands,” said Smidt.
Sixth-ranked Tunisia finished as third-placed runners up in Group B, while third-ranked Banyana finished top of Group C with a 100 percent record.
Coach Desiree shared her thoughts as she prepared for the next challenge in Morocco.
“When we selected the squad [before the tournament], we selected a squad for every eventuality in the competition and that eventuality is now,” Ellis said.
“There are obviously games in between games, so we have to make sure we maintain [our physical fitness]. We must keep working on planning and preparing for the next game.
“We put a plan in place and it is now up to the players to execute that plan.”
Banyana Banyana face the Tunisians at 21:00 (22:00 South African time) at Moulay Hassan FUS stadium