The national Basetsana women’s Under-20 football side are back in camp as their qualifying campaign for next year’s FIFA U20 World Cup in France continue.
Basetsana went into camp on Sunday to prepare for their away leg fixture against Burundi at the Prince Louise Rwagasore stadium on Saturday.
Basetsana will host the second leg two weeks later and will be hoping to go into that fixture with a comfortable away result.
South Africa comfortably progressed to the second round of qualifiers after thrashing Namibia 9-0 on aggregate in the first round. The going will be slightly tougher against the East Africans who will looking at causing an upset against their more fancied opponents.
Basetsana head coach, Maud Khumalo will be without some of her key players who are currently busy with their final matric exams but the former Banyana Banyana midfielder believes she has suitable replacements who can plug into the gaps which include the absence of captain and leading goalscorer, Linda Motlhalo.
‘We have a tough task ahead of us. Burundi are not to be underestimated and we need to ensure that we are mentally and physically fit for both fixtures. We are missing a few players due to exams but this is what we deal with at junior level. It is something we have thought of and we believe that the players that have been called up can and will do the job for us,’ said Khumalo.
Basetsana jet off to Burundi on Thursday, via Kenya and will have one final training session on Friday before their match the following day.
Progression into the third and final round will see Basetsana taking on either Nigeria or Morocco to fight for a place in next year’s world showpiece set to take place In France between 5-24 August.
Basetsana are yet to feature in a FIFA World Cup qualifier and will be looking to rewrite the history books by becoming the first U20 side to achieve this feat.
The Basetsana squad:
Goalkeepers: Jessica Williams, Betty Mallela, Loretta Mokoena
Defenders: Lindokhuhle Gladile, Katlego Mabuza, Tyla-Bree Joss, Noxolo Cesane, Sinoxolo Cesane
Midfielders: Lelona Daweti, Nosipho Mahlawe, Lehlogonolo Mashigo, Mademe Tshikumbu, Gabriela Salgado, Tshegofatso Motlogelwa, Ntombifuthi Ndlovu
Forwards: Zimasa Dekeda, Kirsten Nolan, Refilwe Maseko, Morongwa Manamela, Nolubabalo Mambhele