Banyana ‘nervous but excited’

2012-07-24 14:39

The South African women’s senior national team may be the new kids on the block in terms of Olympic Games experience, but statistics will be far from their minds in their opening Group F fixture in Coventry tomorrow.

Banyana Banyana’s head coach Joseph Mkhonza described the mood in the camp as “nervous but excited”.

“The team can’t wait for the Olympic Games action to begin,” Mkhonza said.

“We have had a look at the match venue and have a fully fit team of 18 players to choose from for our first match against Sweden.”

Banyana are placed fourth on the Confederation of African Football rankings, while the Swedes are ranked second in Europe.

“We have known since we beat Ethiopia in September last year that we were going to play at the Olympics, so I don’t believe the moment will be too big for our players,” said Mkhonza.

Following the match against Sweden, the South Africans will play their next Group F fixture at the same venue on Saturday against Canada.

They meet FIFA World Cup women’s champions Japan in Cardiff their final group fixture on Tuesday.

The 12 teams have been drawn in three groups of four teams each.

The top two sides from each group and the best two third-placed teams, qualify for the last-eight, knockout stage of the competition.

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