Banyana go through, but U-23s lose out

2015-04-12 06:01

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South Africa (2) 5 - Botswana 0

South Africa will be represented at this year’s All Africa Games after Banyana Banyana demolished Botswana in the final round of the qualifiers yesterday.

Banyana coach Vera Pauw attributed teamwork as a key factor after the team qualified for the All Africa Games that will take place in Congo-Brazzaville in September.

The SA women’s team demolished Botswana 5-0 to advance 6-0 on aggregate after their 1-0 win in the first leg three weeks ago.

“Teamwork was key and the players were ready for this game. We focused on the attack and that’s what you saw today,” said Pauw after the match at Dobsonville Stadium, which hosted a double header that saw the SA Under-23s beat Sudan 1-0, but Menzi Masuku’s second-half strike was not enough for Owen da Gama’s charges, as the Baby Bafana went into yesterday’s game with a 2-0 deficit from the first leg three weeks ago. South Africa lost 2-1 on aggregate.

Goals from Mamello Makhabane, Portia Modise, Amanda Dlamini, Noko Matlou and Silindile Gumede confirmed that the South African women’s side would join hosts Congo, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania – the nations that have already qualified for the multicoded games – in Brazzaville. Pauw said the event would be the ideal preparation for the Olympic qualifiers.

Meanwhile, SA Under-23 coach Owen da Gama said the difference between his side and Sudan “was that we had the quality in our side and they had better preparations”.

“For them to close their league for 10 days to allow their Under-23s to prepare is something that we can learn from. We only received some of the players on Wednesday and Thursday, but we are not making any excuses,” said Da Gama, whose side went into the game trailing 2-0 from the first leg three weeks ago.

“All the other coaches had similar problems with the availability of players. If we can get that right, we’ll get somewhere. If we had the same team in Sudan, we’d be talking a different story today.

The Bafana assistant coach said he was now looking forward to the Olympic qualifiers that would start next month.

South Africa will meet the winner of the game between Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

“The Absa Premiership finishes on the ninth and the National First Division on the 10th of May; we’re playing [the Olympic qualifier] on the 22nd. It just gives hope that we’ll get enough quality players so that when we go into the qualifiers we have a superb team. We’ll sit with management to see if we can get two weeks of preparations.”

He added: “Instead of looking for excuses, we should be looking for solutions.”

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