Hard work lies ahead for Banyana Banyana

Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw. Picture: Gallo Images

Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw. Picture: Gallo Images

Following their entry into the final round of the 2016 Olympic Games qualifiers, Banyana Banyana coach Vera Pauw said their crunch-match against Equatorial Guinea will be far from easy.

The South Africans dispatched Kenya 1-0 in Machakos with a Rhoda Mulaudzi goal in the second leg, third round clash, to go through on a 2-0 aggregate win after registering a 1-0 victory in the first leg in South Africa a fortnight ago.

Equatorial Guinea needed extra time to brush aside Nigeria 2-1 in Malabo – the first leg in Abuja ended 1-1 two weeks ago.

“We have always been thinking that Nigeria would be our final opponents but at the back of our minds we also knew there was a chance we could play Equatorial Guinea,” said Pauw.

“The latter have a lot of Brazilian players with just one or two from Equatorial Guinea and we expect to get the footage of Guinea vs Nigeria match so we can see their quality.

“But the truth is Equatorial Guinea will not be weaker than Nigeria. The fact that they won against Nigeria means it will be a tough encounter, but we will go for it. We have the African Games to help us prepare for that qualifier by keeping us sharp.”

A measured approach to their match with Kenya was Banyana Banyana’s key to victory said Pauw.

“It was a tough one, but it shows again that you can plan for success. We put our plan in place and stuck to it. We sent our team manager before the team arrived so we can have peace of mind as he would sort everything out beforehand, and that played a crucial role in our victory.

“We need to learn from this that if off the field things are done well, then we can just focus on on-the-field activity.”

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