Cape Town - A spirited Banyana Banyana are putting the final touches on their preparations ahead of crunch battle against Algeria, as both sides look to seal qualification to Africa Women Cup of Nations (Awcon).
Banyana might draw strength from their last encounter with the Tennecs - as Algeria are known, also a major tournament qualification sealing match that Banyana convincingly won 5-1 back in 2014.
Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies goalkeeper Andile Dlamini believes her team is battle ready, and have enough in their camp to perform to the expected levels over two legs.
Dlamini said: “We are mentally prepared for the game. The previous match against Zambia really opened our eyes to a lot of things that we may have been missing.”
Algeria have lost just one of their last six matches and scored 28 goals heading into this encounter, the sort of form that should worry Dlamini and her backline.
“We are coming up against a really good team. We’ve watched a lot of footage of them so we know what they’re about, and we won’t take anything for granted,” she explained.
Banyana’s two-week camp has been a cause for concern for many with coach Desiree Ellis receiving a full complement of players only four days before jetting off to North Africa.
Dlamini, though, feels that the mood within the team has not been affected at all, in fact, everyone is contributing to an energetic environment and that could prove a weapon for them in their qualifiers.
(Watch) Sasol-sponsored @Banyana_Banyana coach @descaptain has named a strong 24-woman squad to battle it out with Algeria in the first leg of the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifier tomorrow, 18 February 2022 (Kick-off 15:00pm) #limitless @SasolLeague pic.twitter.com/7nzoqd5wm9— Sasol (@SasolSA) February 17, 2022
“We know what’s at stake, we want to put in a good performance for our supporters and we want to seal our place at Awcon 2022,” she said.
“We are gelling very well as a team, the team spirit in the camp is very lively. The overseas-based players also brought a different element into camp which could help us win the game.”