Banyana Bandwagon

By Peter Alegi | November 9th, 2012 3 Comments

South Africa’s women’s national team recorded its most important victory ever on November 7 by defeating Nigeria 1-0 in the semifinal of the 8th African Women’s Football Championship in Bata, Equatorial Guinea. Defender Janine Van Wyk long-range blast gave Banyana Banyana (The Girls) their first-ever win against the six-time champion Super Falcons. South Africa will face Equatorial Guinea in the final on Sunday, November 11, a team that beat them 1-0 in the first group stage match.

“I have been in the Banyana Banyana side since 2004 and we have tried for so long to beat the Nigerians but luck has never been on our side, but now we have proved that we can compete and beat of the best on the continent,” said Van Wyk. “At the CAF African Championship held in South Africa in 2010 I scored with a free kick from 35 metres out against Nigeria, and my teammates always remind me that I normally reserve my best for matches against Nigeria,” she laughed.

With the men’s team — Bafana Bafana — struggling, it is perhaps not surprising that South African fans and the football establishment are leaping onto the Banyana bandwagon. Following the win against Nigeria, SAFA President Kirsten Nematandani announced he would be flying out to attend the final. “The victory should open doors for the growth of women’s soccer,” he said. “Well done to the girls for making the country proud.”

“We are in a very positive frame of mind going into the final game against the hosts,” said Joseph Mkhonza, the Banyana head coach. “But we are still focused on attaining our mission of taking gold in this tournament. We came here with a mission and that mission is still on track,” he said. “We have some homework to do before Sunday’s final, knowing we will play in front of a large red-clad crowd in what is certain to be a packed Malabo stadium, but we will be ready for the challenge.”




November 9th, 2012 | 1:10 pm    

May be a gain of experience and confidence from their Olympics venture.
SAFA President Kirsten Nematandani announced he would be flying out to attend the final. “The victory should open doors for the growth of women’s soccer,” What is he talking about.

These federation presidents are worse than politicians.

Cynthia Pelak

November 10th, 2012 | 3:57 pm    

This is great news! Good luck Banyana Banyana!

Thabo Dladla

November 12th, 2012 | 5:01 am    

It is a pity that ireceived this after the final on Sunday. I doubt if many people in this country knew that the women’s team was in the final of the biggest women’s competition in the continent. Our girls are doing very well under the circumstances. Women’s football is dead in our country. It would have been expecting too much from the ladies to win the final. Presently, women’s league is not active. It is said that it will kick off next year after the Nations Cup. There are no competitions for girls junior teams. Our girls only start playing football at the university level. These issues have nothing to do with money. SAFA should play the role in terms of promoting the game, however South Africans in general are the laziest beings. It is the responsibility of communities and parents to organize children. Football for both men and women will only start prospering once individuals start taking responsibility. Those who serve at structures like SAFA come from the communities. If they are not good enough, it means the communities are also useless. South Africans need to learn to take education i.e. academic and sports seriuously.

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