Banyana Banyana in All-or-nothing clashThomas Kwenaite
There will not be any sisterly love but everyone for themselves despite both countries coming from the southern region of the continent when South Africa line-up against Zambia in the third match of Group B in the African Women Cup of Nations qualifier in Accra on Saturday.
After watching Cameroon eliminate host Ghana to top Group A and West Africans Mali clinching the second semi-final sport following their 3-2 come-from-behind win over Algeria, South Africans are aware that they cannot afford any margin for error on Saturday.
“We need to continue winning,” proclaimed Jermaine Seoposenwe on Friday. “It is important that we should go with a positive mentality and not consider the fact that Zambia are our neighbors but we should banish any thoughts of sisterly love.
“In any case, they have always given us problems and we know it is not going to be easy. We are not even considering the game in which they lost 4-0 to Nigeria because we know in this game, no two matches are the same.”
Seoposenwe said they are highly focused on the match and admits that the only time that they became complacent was during the first half of their second match against Equatorial Guinea, but received a rude awakening when the West Africans pulled one back to reduce the deficit to 2-1.
“We went into overdrive and regained our dominance in the second half. If anything, that momentary lapse on concentration brought home the message that anything could happen during a soccer match and you must maintain focus throughout the duration of the match.”
Banyana Banyana displayed on the night that football was a team sport and although there are usually individual stars that rise above the rest of their peers, the manner in which they worked for each other and assisted each other to achieve their objectives was a clear indication of how much this team has grown.
“We have never won all three games at the AWCON tournament and even though we have not yet won our third match, I think we are both confident and capable of winning all three matches and this is an indication of the development and growth of this team.”
Forget that together with Linda Motlhalo and Thembi Kgatlana they are considered pin-up girl posters of the team, they have not considered their collective good looks but are firmly focused on the team and winning the tournament.
Kgatlana has been phenomenal since the tournament started. After coming off the bench in the opening match to score the lone goal against Nigeria, she assisted in two goals and grabbed a brace herself while the defence has conceded a single goal in two.
The World Cup in France beckons for Banyana Banyana, but they are not looking too far ahead of themselves and taking it one game at a time. In this instance, they are not even wondering whether they would meet Cameroon or Mali, but fully focused on Zambia.