6 November 2012

South Africa/Nigeria: Banyana Ready to Take On Nigeria

Photo: SA Info
South Africa women's national senior socccer Banyana Banyana to play in AWC finals against Equatorial Guinea.

Pretoria — Banyana Banyana will be out to record their first ever win over Nigeria when the two African women's football powers meet in the semi-final of the 2012 CAF African Women Championship.

The clash takes place on Wednesday, 7 November 2012 in Bata, Equatorial Guinea. Kick-off is at 6:30pm South African time, with 30 minutes extra time to follow if the score is deadlocked after 90 minutes of play.

If there is still no winner after extra time, the match will be decided by the penalty shoot-out. Banyana will go into the match ranked number four in Africa, compared to the number one ranked Nigerians.

Skipper Amanda Dlamini's team will be looking to break the mental block and record their first win over the Super Falcons since Banyana was formed in 1993.

Banyana head coach Joseph Mkhonza said: "We came to the tournament with the aim of improving our continental and world rankings, with the top four African nations (Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and South Africa) all having made the semi-finals, we now need to deliver to meet our objective."

Hosts Equatorial Guinea face All-Africa Games champions Cameroon in the first semi-final to be played in Malabo earlier in the day. (Kick-off is 3:30pm).

Banyana played to a 1-all draw with Nigeria in an international friendly played in Phokeng in the North West earlier this year, and shared a goal-less draw again in Lagos two weeks later.

Mkhonza said they were competitive enough to match the Nigerians.

"Banyana players are keen to do better than their bronze medal finish at the CAF African Women Championship 2010 held in Ekurhuleni and will be looking to use the experience gained at the London Olympics to good advantage," he said.

The Banyana mentor has an injury-free squad of 20 players to choose from and has the option of fielding his attack-minded 3-5-2 formation which helped them to beat Senegal 1-0 and a 4-1 triumph over the Democratic Republic of Congo in the group stages.

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