Olympic debutants Banyana Banyana will be out to prove that they are over the nerves of their first match and show that they are not just in London to make up the numbers.
Banyana Banyana face Canada in their second Olympic Group F football fixture in Coventry on Saturday with kick-off at 2.45pm local time (3.45pm SA time)
While nerves may have got the better of the South Africans in the first 30 minutes of their 4-1 defeat to Sweden earlier this week, captain Amanda Dlamini’s team have settled into Olympic mode, and need a win to keep alive their hopes of a place in the next round.
Banyana Banyana’s final group fixture will be against FIFA World Cup champions Japan in Cardiff on Tuesday. The Canadians will be just as anxious to secure points, having gone down 2-1 to Japan in their opening Olympic Group F fixture.
ÔÇ£We have seen a bit of Canada in action when we participated at the Cyprus Women’s Cup in February this year and have an idea of what to expect,ÔÇØ said midfielder Dlamini.
ÔÇ£The nerves of the first match are now behind us and we hope to do our country proud when we face Canada. It’s a great experience for South Africa to play at this level of women’s football, being the first time that our senior women’s national team has qualified for the Olympics since our team was formed in 1993.ÔÇØ
The South Africans have had a solid build up phase to the Olympics since outplaying Zambia, Tunisia and Ethiopia in home and away matches to book their place ÔÇô along with Cameroon ÔÇô as Africa’s representatives at the London Olympics.
Thanks to the firm support of SASCOC, SAFA and Sasol, Banyana Banyana were conditioned in lengthy training camps and played several international friendly matches. They also participated in the Cyprus Women’s Cup as part of their preparations for their Olympic debut.
Apart from being the sponsors of Banyana Banyana and the Sasol League in South Africa, Sasol are also sponsors of the SA Olympic and Paralympic teams in London.