Banyana Banyana will meet their biggest rivals Nigeria, at the Africa Women Cup of Nations in July.
South Africa has been pitted in Group C of the tournament alongside Nigeria, Botswana and Burundi. The Super Falcons are carrying a grudge after Banyana beat them at the Aisha Buhari Cup last year and the tournament will fuel that rivalry.
Banyana Coach Desiree Ellis indicated that they are aware who they will be with when they face Nigeria:
“Defending champions and multiple winners and we’ve played them a few times in the group stages, in 2006 we lost to them and ended fourth in the tournament,
In 2008 we lost to them and got to the final but unfortunately we lost to Equatorial Guinea, in 2010 we lost to them again and ended 3rd
In previous tournament the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in 2018 we beat them in the group stages but unfortunately ended up runners-up to them
They have shown that when it comes to big tournament they are up for it they have been there so many times and they know how to win” said Ellis
Banyana Banyana pitted against Nigeria in Group C of AWCON https://t.co/ci33MzNLpI
— Banyana_Banyana (@Banyana_Banyana) April 30, 2022
The 59 year-old mentor believes beating Nigeria in their open match will set the tone for the tournament. Both Burundi and Botswana will play in their maiden competition and this, the Banyana leader says, is no reason to underestimate them.
Banyana will be looking to better their second placed position from the last tournament and better preparations will go a long way for South Africa to win gold.
By Busisiwe Mokwena