local soccer 7.7.2016 02:24 pm

Banyana arrive in US

Nompumelelo Nyandeni, Refiloe Jane and Mamello Makhabane of South African  meet fans during the Banyana Banyana at Jabulani Mall  on 09 April2015 at Jabulani Mall Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Nompumelelo Nyandeni, Refiloe Jane and Mamello Makhabane of South African meet fans during the Banyana Banyana at Jabulani Mall on 09 April2015 at Jabulani Mall Pic Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

Banyana Banyana have landed safely in America after a long flight to USA for their first ever clash with the US national women’s soccer team as part of their preparation for the Rio Olympic Games in August.

Banyana flew to the USA on Tuesday evening, only to arrive in America on Wednesday afternoon for their tie with the Stars and Stripes (as the US women’s is affectionately known) at Soldiers Field, Chicago on Saturday.

Coach Vera Pauw says the trip to America was tedious and forced them to make a couple of changes to their programme in the US.

“It has been a tough trip, it was very long and took us about 32 hours to reach our destination – which is much longer than we had anticipated. To adapt to that we had to make some changes to our programme, instead of what we usually do that is staying up as long as possible to get over jetlag, we did things differently. We let the players sleep early enough to get some rest so that come Saturday we still in the balance,” Pauw was quoted on Safa.net

“After a long travel like that we had to do some loosening up, which we did at a nearby park from our hotel. This is almost the same thing the team will experience when we travel to Brazil for the Olympics, but it will be a shorter flight as it is in the Southern Hemisphere.”

The US has been one of the most dominating team in women’s football, having won the Olympic Games four times (1996, 2004, 2008 and 2012), whereas they have won the World Cup three times (1991, 1999 and 2015).

The game will be Banyana’s second friendly with an overseas team having played the Netherlands recently and they will also play New Zealand before the start of the games in August.

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