Desiree Ellis has retained the bulk of the squad for their friendly against Japan. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa's national women's team, Banyana Banyana, will fly out on Tuesday to Japan for an international friendly Sunday, 10 November.

SA coach Desiree Ellis has kept the bulk of the squad that did duty in Banyana Banyana’s last match – against Botswana in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifiers early in September. 

Ellis has called up Nomvula Kgoale, who was last in the national team in the friendly match against the USA. Also returning are China-based Thembi Kgatlana and Linda Motlhalo – the duo missed the Botswana clash, while Jessica Williams and Ongeziwe Ndlangisa also got the nod. Both were part of the pre-World Cup training squad.

There is only one new cap – Lelona Daweti who plays for Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies. She has been capped in the U-17 and U-20 Women’s National Teams.

“This is a big test for us, more so because it comes at the back of a loss in the Olympic qualifiers. This is a great test of character for the players as we will be facing one of the most formidable sides in women’s football, who have won the World Cup,” said Ellis.

“We also haven’t played in a while but I am confident that with most players having featured for their clubs regularly, we will stand our ground. A big thank you to Safa and our sponsor Sasol for making this match happen – we are grateful.”

This will be the second-ever meeting between the two nations, and Ellis knows all too well that they are a very formidable side.

The Asians are ranked 10thin the world, with Banyana Banyana coming in at 55.

SA's travelling squad: 

Goalkeepers: Andile Dlamini, Kaylin Swart, Jessica Williams

Defenders: Lebogang Ramalepe, Bambanani Mbane, Nothando Vilakazi, Tiisetso Makhubela, Noko Matlou, Ongeziwe Ndlangisa

Midfielders: Leandra Smeda, Mamello Makhabane, Busisiwe Ndimeni, Refiloe Jane, Kholosa Biyana, Linda Motlhalo, Robyn Moodaly, Noxolo Cesane, Nomvula Kgoale

Forwards: Jermaine Seoposenwe, Rhoda Mulaudzi, Thembi Kgatlana, Lelona Daweti 

African News Agency (ANA)