Banyana in search of golden ticket

2014-10-12 15:00

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Banyana Banyana begin their African Women’s Championship campaign against Cameroon in Namibia today.

The Group B fixture at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek will launch South Africa’s quest for a maiden Fifa Women’s World Cup qualification.

Banyana fell short of this four years ago when they finished in the semifinals at the 2010 tournament.

There is a keen sense of anticipation about coach Vera Pauw’s chances to ensure her charges will do well at the Namibia championship and book their ticket to next year’s global showpiece.

The teams that finish in the top three in Namibia will earn berths at the women’s world soccer spectacle in Canada next year.

Banyana go into the eight-nation tournament at the back of a seven-match unbeaten run during their nine weeks of preparation.

History favours South Africa against Cameroon.

Banyana boasted two wins in their previous clashes against the west Africans at the continental championships?–?in 2010 and 2012?–where they met in the third-place play-off.

After Cameroon, Banyana will face Ghana on Wednesday, the same day Bafana Bafana host Congo-Brazzaville in an Afcon qualifier return leg in Polokwane.

Pauw’s team will then face Algeria on Saturday to close their group stage programme.

If Banyana win their group, they will avoid Nigeria in the semifinals, provided the eight-time champions also clinch a top spot in Group A.

This will set up a potential final between Banyana and the Super Falcons if both sides advance.

Ghana and Cameroon are also favourites to make the last four.

South Africa has picked up four runner-up medals on all the occasions they have reached the final since their first appearance at the tournament in 1995.

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