Test of character awaits Banyana

2012-06-02 16:42

Playing the Super Falcons (Nigeria’s women national team) has never been easy for Banyana Banyana and tonight will be no exception.

Even though the Nigerians did not qualify for the London Olympic Games, they are still regarded as the African football powerhouse.

The Olympics start on July 27 and ends on August 12.

The two national teams square off tonight – kick-off is at 7pm – at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace in Phokeng, near Rustenburg. The match will follow the 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifier between hosts Bafana Bafana and Ethiopia.

Banyana head coach Joseph Mkhonza said the international friendly would be a true test of his team’s progress following their back-to-back victories against Tanzania (5-2) and Zambia (4-1).

The Super Falcons are also fresh from a 2-0 win over Zimbabwe in Harare last week.

Mkhonza said Banyana were motivated and would give their best when they took on the African champions.

A good showing against Nigeria could go a long way in building confidence and momentum for the Olympic and African Championship qualifiers.

Said Mkhonza: “This is going to be a physical match. My girls are up for it. We have been doing very well and I’m confident. We really need to play at the top level. This is a very crucial friendly match for our preparations.”

Banyana have never defeated Nigeria but the coach has stressed that the team will have to give their best in order to emerge victorious tonight.

“It will be really difficult against Nigeria. This is a really important one and we have to win if we want to go forward and improve.”

He said young striker Robyn Moodaly would not be available for selection as she was preparing for exams.

However, Nocawe Skiti and Refiloe Jane were back after missing the Tanzania and Zambia matches.

Mkhonza added that Portia Modise would be a key player today.

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