Banyana Banyana new caps, central defender Elizabeth Cele and striker Martha Mokoma, were all smiles after being included in the 18-strong national squad to face Zambia in the return leg Olympic Qualifier at the King Zwelithini stadium in Umlazi on Saturday.
Cele, who plays her football for Real City FC in the KwaZulu Natal Sasol League, and goal-hungry Mokoma, a member of the Sasol League National Champions Palace Super Falcons from Gauteng, are part of a squad that has been boosted by the return of tough-tackling experienced central defender Janine van Wyk.
Van Wyk, a club-mate of Mokoma, missed the away trip to Lusaka where the Banyana Banyana won 2-1 to give them an advantage going into this weekend’s encounter, as they strive to move closer towards the two places on offer to African teams at the 2012 London Olympics.
Banyana Banyana coach Joseph Mkhonza will be looking for more goals strikers Noko Matlou, the 2009 CAF African Women’s Player of the Year, and stand-in captain Amanda Dlamini.
Matlou found the back of the goal net on one occasion in each of the the Banyana Banyana’s past two matches ÔÇô a 3-0 win in an international friendly against Zimbabwe in Harare before Christmas, and during the 2-1 triumph over the Zambians in Lusaka.
Durban-born Dlamini, who these days plays her football in the colours of the University of Johannesburg in the Gauteng Sasol League, was the talk of the Banyana Banyana’s bronze-medal-winning campaign at the CAF African Women Championship 2010 held in Ekurhuleni in Gauteng last November, where she finished the tournament with a tally of four goals.
The 18┬á000 capacity King Zwelithini stadium in Umlazi is expected to be filled to capacity for Banyana Banyana’s long-awaited match appearance in eThekwini and while there is no ticket fee, spectators will need to obtain tickets from the various distribution points around Umlazi in order to gain entrance to the venue.
Banyana Banyana national squad for Olympic qualifier against Zambia in Durban on Saturday:
Thoko Mndaweni┬á — Croesus Ladies FC (Gauteng)
Yolula Tsawe┬á┬á — Coastal Ladies FC (Eastern Cape)
Simphiwe Dludlu┬á — Tuks Sport FC (Gauteng)
Nothando Vilakazi┬á — Moroka Swallows Ladies (Gauteng)
Simphiwe Masina┬á — Detroit Ladies (Mpumalanga)
Sibongoniseni Khamlala┬á — Cape Town Roses FC (Western Cape)
Janine van Wyk┬á — Palace Super Falcons FC (Gauteng)
Zama Cele┬á — Real City FC (KwaZulu Natal)
Robyn Moodley┬á — High Performance Centre (Tshwane)
Mamello Makhabane┬á — Palace Super Falcons FC (Gauteng)
Nompumelelo Nyandeni┬á — Rossivank FC (Russia)
Nomathemba Nsibande┬á — Springs Homesweepers (Gauteng)
Leandra Smeda┬á — Ambassadors FC (Western Cape)
Jermaine Seopesenwe┬á — Santos FC (Western Cape)
Amanda Dlamini┬á — University of Johannesburg FC (Gauteng)
Noko Matlou┬á — Brazilian Ladies FC (Limpopo)
Mamphashe Popela┬á — Flamingo FC (Mpumalanga)
Martha Mokoma┬á — Palace Super Falcons FC (Gauteng)