29 November 2023 – Banyana Banyana are ready for their first leg of the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Burkina Faso when the two sides meet at the Stade Charles Konan Banny de Yamoussoukro (kick off at 16:00pm, 8:00pm CAT) on Thursday.
The African champions landed in Côte d’Ivoire on Monday afternoon and spent a night in Abidjan where they were joined by the international–based Linda Motlhalo, Faith Nokuthula and Noko Matlou.
Coach Desiree Ellis’ Sasol-sponsored charges had their first official training session on Tuesday morning and she confirmed a clean bill of health ahead of the encounter against Burkina Faso.
“I can thankfully say that we have a clean bill of health. Everybody participated in the training session, everybody has arrived [the overseas–based players] – Linda, Faith and Noko arrived last night. A little bit of a rest day yesterday after the long travel. We have to manage so many players that have played so many 90 minutes over the last three weeks and we have to keep them fresh,” said Ellis.
The South African senior women’s team embarked on a three–hour journey by bus to Yamoussoukro on Tuesday afternoon ahead of the game against Burkina Faso on Thursday.
The West African side will face a Banyana Banyana team that is dominated by players that were part of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup history–making squad.
What we know about Burkina Faso:
-Nickname: The Senior Ladies Stallions.
-Debutants in the 2022 WAFCON group stage where they lost two games and drew one.
-Played Banyana Banyana in an International friendly in 2017 and lost 0-4.
-Won against Eswatini in the first round of the WAFCON qualifiers, losing the away leg 2-3 and winning 3-0 at home.
Banyana Banyana will have their Matchday -1 training session on Wednesday afternoon to fine tune the final details before taking to the field on Thursday afternoon.