Banyana Banyana will be going all out to record their first ever win over Nigeria when the two African women’s football powers meet in the semi-final of the CAF African Women Championship in Bata, Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday.
The Sasol-sponsored national senior women’s side go into the match ranked fourth in Africa, compared to the top ranked Nigerians ÔÇô and captain Amanda Dlamini’s team will be looking to break the mental block and record their first win over the Super Falcons since Banyana Banyana was formed in 1993.
Kickoff is at 6.30pm South African time, with 30 minutes extra time to follow if the score is deadlocked after 90 minutes of play. If there is still no winner after extra time, the match will be decided via a penalty shoot out.
ÔÇ£We came to the tournament with the aim of improving on our world ranking of 56th and African ranking of fourth, and with the top four African nations (Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and South Africa) all having made the semi-finals, we now need to deliver to meet our objective,ÔÇØ said Banyana Banyana head coach Joseph Mkhonza.
Hosts Equatorial Guinea face All-Africa Games champions Cameroon in the first semi-final, to be played in Malabo earlier in the day.
ÔÇ£We played to a 1-all draw with Nigeria in an international friendly played in Phokeng near Rustenburg, North West Province earlier this year and shared a goal-less draw with them in Lagos two weeks later, so we know we are competitive enough to match Africa’s No1 side,ÔÇØ added Mkhonza.
ÔÇ£The Banyana Banyana players are keen to do better than their bronze medal finish at the CAF African Women Championship 2010 held in Ekurhuleni near Johannesburg, and will be looking to use the experience gained at the London Olympics held in July, to good advantage.ÔÇØ
Mkhonza has an injury-free squad of 20 players to choose from and has the option of fielding his attack-minded 3-5-2 formation which brought success (a 1-0 win over Senegal and a 4-1 triumph over DR Congo) in the group stages, or revert to the conventional 4-4-2 format.ÔÇ¿┬áÔÇ¿Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies (Sasol League Gauteng) striker Andiswe Mgcoyi will arrive at the semi-final as the joint┬áleading goal-scorer in the tournament on four goals, having scored the only goal of the match against Senegal and a hat-trick against the Congolese.