Banyana thrown in tough World Cup drawThomas Kwenaite
South Africa were thrown into certainly one of the toughest groups when they were paired with former champions Germany, Spain and China for the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals at La Seine Island in Paris on Saturday evening.
The other African representatives Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses were thrown into Group E with Canada, Netherlands and New Zealand in what one could consider a relatively better draw than their South African sisters.
And the defending African champions and Super Falcons of Nigeria found themselves in an even tougher draw in Group A with hosts France, Norway and Kore Republic.
Debutants Banyana Banyana will open their first ever appearance at the Mundial against La Rocha Ladies Spain in Le Havre on June 8, followed by China in Paris on June 13 and they round up their group B matches against Germany in Montpellier on June 17.
Now that they have drawn China, the South Africans would probably negotiate with either Japan or the Korea Republic for a friendly match against Banyana Banyana to adequately prepare for the Chinese.
And while the match friendly international against the United States in California will no doubt test Desiree Ellis’s troops, it is the friendly against Sweden that will prepare Banyana for the two ties against Spain and Germany.
If anything, Banyana Banyana will have to be at their best physical shape going to the World Cup because in terms of their skills, they are adequately blessed but physically they could be found wanting, especially against the Germans who never stop running.