23 February 2023 – Banyana Banyana returned home to a heroines’ welcome on Wednesday after finishing as the winners of their group at the Turkish Women’s Cup in Antalya, Turkey, this week.
Coach Desiree Ellis’ charges won Group A on goal difference after beating Uzbekistan 3-0 on Saturday (18 February 2023), and drawing 1-1 with eventual runners-up Slovenia on Tuesday afternoon (21 February 2023).
South African Football Association (SAFA) President Dr Danny Jordaan, CEO Advocate Tebogo Motlanthe, COO Lydia Monyepao, CFO Gronie Hluyo, NEC members Job Mchunu and Jack Maluleka, and members of the media were all at OR Tambo International Airport to welcome the Sasol-sponsored African champions.
“Well, we are very happy. This is the second tournament they went to and this is the second title Banyana Banyana bring home. So we are delighted,” Dr Jordaan said.
“What we want to do is to give the team an opportunity to play against European opposition. In the World Cup, there are two European teams in our group – Sweden and Italy. I think Slovenia is quite close to the quality of Italy, who gave Banyana Banyana a good test in Turkey. They now have some idea of what they will face in the World Cup.”
Hildah Magaia, who scored the equaliser against Slovenia on Tuesday, was named as the midfielder of the tournament.
Jordaan also paid tribute to goalkeeper Andile Dlamini, who was named named Sports Personality of the Year at the the Gauteng Sports Awards this week. He also applauded Ellis and her charges for another impressive display away from home.