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Basetsana beaten by Ghana in U20 World Cup qualifying preparation

The Basetsana national U20 women’s football side went down 4-0 to host nation Ghana in Friday’s practice match.

Both nations were using the match to prepare for the upcoming third and final round of the 2018 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup qualifiers – Ghana will face Cameroon while South Africa take on Nigeria.

The two games are scheduled for the weekend of 12-14 January and only two nations will qualify to represent the African continent in France.

Despite the scoreline, Basetsana head coach Maud Khumalo is not losing sleep to the hosts who had been in a training camp for the last two weeks.

‘We have achieved our objective because it was not about the results. I brought this squad to Ghana to see our shortcomings as we will be facing Nigeria, so for me it was a worthwhile exercise.

‘I wanted to see the mental strength of the players, how they deal with physical opposition. I noticed that we have all of that but we tend to drop as the game progresses. When you are facing tough opposition, mental strength becomes as key as physique,’ said Khumalo.

Travelling with 18 players for the clash will Ghana, the former Banyana Banyana player gave all the players a run.

‘I wanted to see if the other players can do the business, and replace them if the need arises. I realised that if I use the core team I would not see those shortcomings because what happens if the regular players are not available, who will replace them?

‘So this exercise was a very good one. I’m very happy with what I have seen and when I sit down to make plans for the Nigeria game it will be an informed decision,’ added Khumalo.

Basetsana arrive home on Sunday morning and after a short recess will be back in camp early in the new year to continue with preparations for the Nigeria fixture.

The 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France next year (5-24 August) will be the ninth edition of the tournament.

How Basetsana lined up:
Jessica Williams (GK) (Mapaseka Mpuru), Siyamthanda Mbatha (Antonia Maponya), Bongeka Gamede (c), Tyla-Bree Joss (Morongwa Manamela), Noxolo Cesane, Snegugu Zondi, Madembe Tshikumbu (Ntombifikile Ndlovu), Gabriela Salgado (Refilwe Maseko), Sinoxolo Cesane (Linda Motlhalo), Lelona Daweti, Zimasa Dekeda (Khanya Nxesi)

Mapaseka Mpuru (GK), Linda Motlhalo, Antonia Maponya, Ntombifikile Ndlovu, Morongwa Manamela, Refilwe Maseko, Khanya Nxesi

Head Coach: Maud Khumalo