IT will be crunch time for Banyana Banyana when they meet Cote d’Ivoire in the third/fourth place play-off match at the 2014 CAF African Women’s Championship in Namibia.
The clash is scheduled for this afternoon at the Sam Nujoma Stadium. Kick-off is 5pm.
The encounter carries much more significance than just the prospect of a bronze medal. The winner will join Cameroon and Nigeria as one of three African representatives at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada next year.
Banyana Banyana are just one game away from reaching their goal of playing at the global soccer showpiece. The South Africans still stand a good chance of finishing third after going down 2–1 to Nigeria in the semi-final on Wednesday.
“We are very disappointed with the results we got. We are a bit down that we lost to Nigeria, but we still have one last chance to qualify for the global showpiece. That has been our ultimate goal since the start of our preparations for this tournament,” said Banyana captain Janine Van Wyk.
The Sasol-sponsored Banyana and Ivory Coast have met before in an international friendly match with South Africa emerging 2-1 victors.
The clash took place at the Moruleng Stadium in Rustenburg before both teams travelled to Namibia for the AWC.
With both teams eyeing the last African spot left at the 2015 World Cup, Janine is wary of the threat which Ivory Coast poses.
“We just need to go out with confidence on Saturday against Ivory Coast, there is still hope for us to qualify for the World Cup. Ivory Coast is not going to be a walk in the park, but we are really confident that we will come out with a good result if we just play the good football that we have been playing throughout the tournament. We need to put the ball in the back of the net like we did in the match against Algeria,” added Janine.
Banyana have never qualified for a World Cup, thus the match on Saturday will play a vital role in rewriting the history of women’s football in South Africa.