local soccer 21.10.2014 01:10 pm

Amanda Dlamini’s Banyana diary

Amanda Dlamini. Picture: Backpagepix

Amanda Dlamini. Picture: Backpagepix

Under pressure and fighting for their place at the African Women’s Championships in Namibia, Banyana Banyana produced their best display of the competition on the weekend with a 5-1 demolition of Algeria ensuring their progress to the semifinals.

One of the stars of the show, Amanda Dlamini, opened the scoring for Banyana and her performance saw her claim the award for Player-of-the-Match in the encounter. Now with Nigeria standing in the way of qualification for the Women’s World Cup, and a place in the final in Windhoek, the midfielder shared her thoughts with Nick Gordon.

I always go into a game and give my all and I suppose it all just went our way against Algeria. The team made me look good, I performed to the best of my ability there was nothing special. I just took the instructions from the coach and supported my team-mates in the best way that I can.

We were all under pressure and it was up to one of us to put the ball into the back of the net. Whether it was Portia Modise or Sanah Mollo or anyone up front. We prepared so well and we’ve scored in preparation matches but we got to this tournament and just couldn’t score.

It was bound to happen and I’m happy that we’ve got that confidence now going into the Nigeria game. At least now we know where we are and that we can put the ball into the back of the net. Our strikers will be confident and I think the team will also carry that confidence into the game.

We had to be calm before the game against Algeria. We were all quite anxious and we knew that as soon as the whistle went we would want to attack at a high-pace. But you can’t play an entire game like that so we had to play at our pace and be calm. We had to play our natural game and it happened.

I’m happy that we as the players took it upon ourselves to show how badly we wanted it and I’m happy for the team. We performed really well and apart from the scoreline I think we worked together in sync as a movement and it was a really good game.

The last few days we’ve stuck to our normal routine and like the rest of our matches it was back to drawing board immediately. It’s been about recovery. Aqua-jogging, massage and our usual training and preparation. It never stops. We know that we’re here for a mission and we’ll rest afterwards.

We have to keep calm and stay focused. This is what the team is all about. We’re a humble group who want to succeed.

We’ve had to fight from day one, from the first game and we’ll continue to fight against Nigeria. Nothing is easy, we know that and we are going to continue to work hard.

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