Durban — Banyana Banyana midfielder Bambanani Mbane believes that her side needs to maintain a positive mindset as they prepare to play against the Netherlands at the Kyocera Stadium on Tuesday night.
Banyana will be the underdogs against the fifth ranked Dutch ladies. However, they can use the game to improve while also testing themselves against some of the best players in the world.
“Mentally, we have to be strong. The Netherlands are one of the big teams in the world. It won’t be easy to play against them. I’m happy with the way that the team has been performing. We all have the same mentality and know that it won’t be easy. The game is very important. We still need to fix some areas of our game and will learn a lot from it,” said Mbane.
The game will serve as vital preparation for Desiree Ellis’ side ahead of the 14th edition of the African Women Cup of Nations in Morocco later this year. After finishing as runners-up to Nigeria in the 2018 version of the event, Banyana will be hoping to go one step better and potentially be crowned as the best team in Africa this time around.
Meanwhile, Banyana coach Ellis believes that the game will allow her side to refine their tactical approaches ahead of the continental competition.
“It’s really exciting to see everyone looking forward to the game. It's not an easy opponent. They have been to the World Cup as well; they got to the final and have been to the Olympics. They have a top team,” she said.
“There are a few things we need to work on. We need to be better in our defence, our combination play and, of course, our finishing. The finishing has to get better. It's been the achilles heel before, when I thought it was sorted.
“I think as the players get more game time it will get better, like everything else. That's one area that needs to consistently improve. When you look at our football all-round, the chances that are created are missed. The onus is not just on us but the individual players to work on finishing.”