Just one game separates Banyana Banyana from qualifying for the Caf Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WACON) for the 13th time, with Algeria standing on their way ahead of their second leg meeting in the final round of the qualifiers to be played in Algiers on Wednesday.
Banyana, however, already paved a good way to qualifying for the continental tournament after they edged the Algerians 2-0 in the first leg played at the Orlando Stadium last Friday.
Having competed at the tournament 12 times before while the Algerians have featured five times only, Banyana, who finished as runners-up in the last edition of the AWCON, certainly have more experience than their opponents. Head coach Desiree Ellis says the most important thing going into the return leg is to make sure that they don’t concede and wants her troops to utilize their goal scoring chances.
“We have to make sure that we are organized and compact in the first 20 minutes, it’s going to be key. 2-0 is a very dangerous score, the next goal is going to be a big goal and we have to make sure that it is our goal to take a little bit of pressure off and I was encouraged about what I saw at training,” said the coach.
“Look, a lot of our players have been in this position before, like I said previously, a lot of them want to make their mark at tournaments and also, the news players want to make a mark. So, they know the magnitude of the game. It is not over yet, we had a lot of opportunities to seal it in South Africa. We have to make sure when we get those chances we are more clinical in front of goals, but also be confident that we do not concede, because that is the first key. The players’ mentality is on another level at the moment, we had a day and half of travel coming here since Friday’s match.”
The tournament is set to be hosted in Morocco in July, where the South Africans will be looking to claim their first continental silverware.