Banyana Banyana’s 1-0 semifinal triumph over Nigeria in CAF African Women Championship action in Bata Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday is the dawn of a new era for women’s football in South Africa.
Speaking after Banyana Banyana’s historic win over
Nigeria, SA Football Association (Safa) President Kirsten Nematandani
said these were exciting times for women’s football in the country.
will fly to Malabo to support the Sasol-sponsored South African senior
women’s national team in Sunday’s (11 November) final against hosts
“That was a fantastic result and we now hope
to go all the way and capture the title on Sunday. Banyana Banyana have
really become a prestigious South African brand and as predicted, the
Olympics experience is starting to tell,” said Nematandani.
has always gotten the better of our girls and Wednesday’s win should
herald a new era for women’s football in our country. The victory should
open doors for the growth of women soccer. Well done to the girls for
making the country proud.”
Banyana Banyana head coach Joseph
Mkhonza, who took charge of Banyana Banyana after the national team’s
bronze medal finish at the CAF African Women Championship 2010 held in
Ekurhuleni, near Johannesburg, remarked:
“We have come a long way
since winning the bronze medal in Ekurhuleni in 2010. We know that past
reputations count for nothing as we have seen our first ever win
against Nigeria so anything is possible. We are in a very positive frame
of mind going into the final game against the hosts but we are still
focussed on attaining our mission of taking gold in this tournament. We
came here with a mission and that mission is still on track,” said
Nobody in the Banyana Banyana camp had a bigger smile
than central defender Janine van Wyk, whose stunning 23rd minute left
footed strike from 25 metres broke the Nigerians’ hearts, giving South
Africa their first ever win over Africa’s No 1 ranked side since 1993.
Nigeria has won the CAF AWC six times.
“At the CAF African
Championship held in South Africa in 2010 I scored with a free kick from
35 metres out against Nigeria, and my teammates always remind me that I
normally reserve my best for matches against Nigeria,” she laughed.
have been in this squad since 2004 and have played 90 times for the
national team, so to be in the team that defeated Nigeria for the first
time leaves an amazing feeling that I will cherish forever.
and Sasol need to be thanked for the continued support given to women’s
football, which has allowed the players to become household names across
all communities, and role models, most notably to the youth.”
Sponsorship Specialist, Football, Dumisani Mbokane expressed his
delight at the national team’s successful passage to the grand finale of
Africa’s premier women’s football event.
“Sasol is a committed
role player in working towards the empowerment of women through football
which is a key cornerstone of nation building,” said Mbokane.
behalf of Sasol, I would like to extend our sincere congratulations to
the Banyana Banyana management and players, and wish them the best of
luck for Sunday’s final.”