Rabat field might not be suitable for smooth passing Banyana

Rabat field might not be suitable for smooth passing Banyana

By Andile & Mandla Dladla

With Banyana Banyana lining up against hosts Morocco in the final of the 2022 African Women Cup of Nations tournament at the Complexe Mohammed VI Stadium on Saturday, many believe the South Africans could finally break their duck.

They have already qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and Australia next year when they reached the semi-final, but now the biggest challenge lies ahead against the home side that will be buoyed by more than 50 000 spectators.

Can the South Africans finally rid themselves of the “also rans” tag of being considered bridesmaids after finishing as runners-up on four occasions or they are capable of turning the tables and stepping onto the podium?

They have looked impressive and have played the type of football that is pleasing to the eye with beautiful build-ups while sharing the ball among themselves in their build-ups, but their finishing has been poor.

In addition, the loss of key striker Thembi Kgatana through injury has been a huge blow, with the striking duties now resting on the shoulders of Maserame Motlhalo and Jermaine Seoposenwe who are generally attacking midfielders.

But the biggest challenge facing a ball playing side like Banyana Banyana would be the Rabat field which appears to be much heavier than the smooth surface of the Casablanca turf and that could hamper Banyana in their sleek passing game.

It is not going to be a smooth ride for the South Africans who have dispatched their nemesis Nigeria and neighbours Zambia along the way against a physical Morocco, but it would depend on how much they want this trophy.

The girls have said money is not the objective, but clearly it would be at the back of their minds that a win would guarantee each and every one of them a whooping R400 000 but a loss would mean they will take home R40 000 each.

So, naturally, the incentive to go flat out will be there and it would require nerves of steel as the entire stadium would be packed with the home fans who would make it their duty to unsettle them by booing them while cheering the home side.

There will also be the issue of the shameful use of green lasers which are usually directed into the eyes of the goalkeeper and has the tendency to cause a loss in concentration.

But the stakes are high and Desiree Ellis’ crew have come this far and cannot look back but delve into the reserves of their energies like they have never done before, if they want to write their names in the history books!

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.