Cape Town - Banyana Banyana goalkeeper Andile Dlamini is grateful for the opportunity she was given - to represent her country at a very high level.
According to the SuperSport.com website, Dlamini played a pivotal role in South Africa’s goalless draw against neighbours Zimbabwe in the opening match of the 2016 CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Yaounde, Cameroon on Saturday night (19 November).
This was her second clean sheet in three matches - the first was against the same Zimbabwe in a 3-0 victory a few weeks ago (prior to this they defeated Egypt 3-1).
“The pace of the match was very fast and the Mighty Warriors really came at us. We know that playing Zimbabwe is never an easy task, as they always believe they have a point to prove against us,” said Dlamini.
“I am happy I managed to keep a clean sheet although there were moments in the match, where I was under pressure and I was bombarded in the 6 yard area. As the last line of defence, I had to ensure that my game was on point.
"I must also congratulate my defence because at the end of the day this is all about teamwork. We did well and I am confident we will do even better against Cameroon.”
The Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies goal minder has been with the national team for a long time but has often been the second choice.
“I have been part of the Banyana Banyana set up for many years now, but this was my first official match in a tournament. I am really grateful to the technical team for the opportunity I was given, and I am also glad I did not let them down.
"Gratitude also goes to my goalkeeper coach Alex Heredia for instilling more confidence in me. Yolula Tsawe (the goalkeeper on the bench on match day) also encouraged me throughout the game, and ensured that I stay calm - as I said it’s all about teamwork,” added Dlamini.
Banyana Banyana will next face hosts Cameroon.
The clash will be played on Tuesday, 22 November 2016 at Stade Ahmadou Ahijdo in Yaounde, Cameroon.
Kickoff is at 16h00 (SA time 17h00).