Banyana Banyana will take on Jamaica as they prepare for the World Cup. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Former Banyana Banyana captain Amanda Dlamini is backing the women’s senior national side to advance to the knockout stages of the World Cup.

Banyana are in a difficult group with Germany, Spain and China at the World Cup in France in June.

Dlamini, who enjoyed an illustrious career during her playing days, is confident that Banyana can reach the knockout stage.

“We are a very impatient country. We are a very results-driven country. It is going to be difficult. We’ve been to the Olympics twice. Our performance wasn’t that great in terms of results. We couldn’t get out of the group stages on either occasion. If you look at performances, 2016 (in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro) was much better. Now that we have a third shot at a big tournament, we might be ready, “ Dlamini, who is now an ambassador of Castle 5 social league, explained.

Banyana are in Durban where they are busy with their World Cup preparations. Tomorrow they will face Jamaica in a friendly at Moses Mabhida Stadium at 3pm. Entrance in to the stadium is free.

“The qualification finds a Banyana where most of their players are exposed to international football. They are playing in clubs overseas. Now, it would be an ideal time for us to get out of the group stages but since we are a country that doesn’t believe in progression, realistically, I do feel it might be tough. We have Germany who have been World Cup champions before. They would want to make sure they get the Cup again. Spain and China always finishes in the top 6. It won’t be easy but I do hope we will make it out of the group stages,” Dlamini added.

Banyana have been locking horns against top nations in their preparations for showpiece, and have competed against the likes of Holland, Sweden, North Korea, Finland and the Czech Republic.

“It has helped them. The only problem might be the inconsistency. After the Cyprus Cup there was a long lay off. A few players have just started their seasons. The rest are in South Africa and we haven’t even started the league. For me, that is the biggest concern, but in terms of the intensity, the muscle always get weary but once they get back in to action and into the higher levels of competition, they will be fine. We don’t know much about Jamaica. The biggest test will be the game against USA.. We need to be a bit sharper,” Dlamini said.

@minenhlecr7


Independent on Saturday 

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