Women’s World Cup: South Africa’s Banyana Banyana confident of progressing past Round 1

South Africa national team, the Banyana Banyana, already champions of the African Cup of Nations, say they are ready to take on the challenge of the Women’s World Cup.

Banyana Banyana held a training session in New Zealand to prepare for their Group G opener against Sweden at Wellington Regional Stadium on July 23.

Desiree Ellis, South Africa’s head coach, believes that the teams in this group are not that formidable:

I think it’s a group that doesn’t pose any problems. And if you look at the other groups, we could have been with the USA, the Netherlands, Japan, Spain, France or Brazil. I’m not underestimating or devaluing any of the opponents in our group. But I think it’s a reasonable group“. “The friendly match we played (against Costa Rica) in Christchurch showed us what we still need to work on and what we master best. The preparation went very well. Now we have to get ready for the match against Sweden next weekend.” she added

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Kaylin Swart, South Africa’s goalkeeper, is very enthusiastic, even if she is dreading the meeting with Italy:

Italy and Argentina will certainly bring a different game plan, a different style. Playing Costa Rica, having this South American opponent, gives us a little taste of what to expect against Argentina. I think Italy will give us a tough time. But we’re up for the challenge and the girls are all very enthusiastic and ready to start the tournament.

Reigning African champions following their triumph at the 2022 Women’s African Cup of Nations, South Africa are one of four African nations to qualify for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, along with Nigeria, Morocco and Zambia.

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