Do-or-die clash await Banyana & Super Falcons

Do-or-die clash await Banyana & Super Falcons
Jermaine Seoposenwe during Banyana Training at Mbombela Stadium in Mbombela on the 26 February 2024 © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

by Thando Mpembe

Thursday Apr 04, 2024. 11:00

The Nigerian and South African women’s national teams will renew their football rivalry this week as they prepare to do battle in a first-leg Olympic qualifier at the MKO Abiola Stadium on Friday evening.

Kick-off is at 6:00pm CAT (SA, GMT+2)

With Nigeria hosting the first-leg, the return leg has been scheduled for the 9th of April at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria. The winner will be decided on an aggregate scoring and in turn, will qualify for the Paris Olympics in June and August.

South Africa earned their way to the fourth round of qualifying following a 4-0 aggregate victory against Tanzania. In the first leg, which took place at the Azam Complex Stadium on the 23rd of February, Banyana walked away with a convincing 3-0 win before sealing their passage to the next round via a 1-0 win at the Mbombela Stadium on the 27th of February.

Reflecting on the upcoming tie against Nigeria, Banyana defender Lebohang Ramalepe conceded that facing the Super Falcons will be a ‘do-or-die’ affair.

“To be honest, this is going to be a tough game. Remember, both teams didn’t qualify for the last Olympics. So, it’s a do-or-die!” Ramalepe said.

“But we are ready because we know how important the game is. It’s just a matter of going there and doing our best (on the day).”

Nigeria faced Cameroon in the third round of Women’s Olympic qualifying and managed to record a slender 1-0 aggregate win against the Indomitable Lionesses.

After a 0-0 stalemate at Stade de la Reunification in the first encounter on the 23rd of February, Nigeria made no mistake on home soil where they bagged a 1-0 win at the Abuja National Stadium three days later.

With the tie against SA in view, Super Falcons coach Randy Waldrum described Desiree Ellis’ side as ‘dangerous’, given their firepower upfront.

“They’re a very good side, they’re the defending African Champions so we need to have some respect for them. I love some of their talent especially up-front,” Waldrum said.

“They’re very dangerous and I know their coach does a really good job, but like I said before, I really like our team and I have all the confidence in our players that we’ll perform well.”

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