Banyana Banyana are off to a flying start in Cyprus. Photo: Safa

NICOSIA – The coach of the Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana, Desiree Ellis, has announced the starting XI to face Korea DPR in a Group C top-of-the-table clash at the Cyprus Women’s Cup on Monday.

Both teams haven’t lost a match in the tournament with the Asians leading the pack with six points, while South Africa is second with four points. Ellis has made four changes to the team that defeated Hungary last Friday

Kaylin Swart gets the nod in goals – and she becomes the third goalkeeper to start in the tournament. Andile Dlamini kept goals in the opening match against Slovakia, with Roxanne Barker coming in for the Hungary encounter.

The defence has also been altered with the central pairing captain Janine van Wyk and Bambanani Mbane starting their third match in a row, while Regina Moholola has been preferred at right back and Leandra Smeda returns to the starting XI but makes a positional switch and starts at left back.

This is Moholola’s first game in the tournament as she takes the place of Lebohang Ramalepe, with Smeda replacing Nothando Vilakazi.

Only three players are yet to step on the field – defenders Noko Matlou and Zanele Nhlapho as well as midfielder Mpumelelo Nyandeni.

“It was important to get some fresh legs for this match because we are playing three games in six days, something the players are not accustomed to. 

"And also, we are here to prepare the squad for the hectic 2018 full of qualifiers and we want to give everybody a chance so that we know going forward that any player we call upon to play will be ready, and not rusty from sitting on the bench,” said Ellis.

“We have another match coming up on Wednesday, in total it will be four games in eight days and that can take its toll on the body, so rotating the squad a bit will keep the players energetic and fresh. We also had to see what the opposition is all about and employ the right personnel for the job.”

Banyana Banyana run-on XI: 

Kaylin Swart (GK), Regina Moholola, Leandra Smeda, Bambanani Mbane, Janine van Wyk (c), Refiloe Jane, Rachel Sebati, Kgaelebane Mohlakoana, Melinda Kgadiete, Linda Motlhalo, Thembi Kgatlana

Subs: Andile Dlamini (GK), Roxanne Barker (GK), Nothando Vilakazi, Noko Matlou, Zanele Nhlapho, Nompumelelo Nyandeni, Sduduzo Dlamini, Jermaine Seoposenwe, Lebohang Ramalepe, Chantelle Esau 

African News Agency (ANA)

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