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Boost for Banyana

Inspirational midfielder Mamello Makhabane will re-join her Banyana Banyana team-mates, when they go in search of building on their 1-0 first leg advantage, against Tunisia in the 2012 Olympic qualifier return match in Hammam Sousse, Tunisia on Sunday, 17 April.

The match will be played at the Lahouar Stadium in north eastern Tunisia (3pm kick-off). The South Africans are taking no chances and will camp in Johannesburg from Monday before flying to Tunisia two days later.

A groin strain prevented Makhabane from being part of the action at the King Zwelithini stadium in Umlazi near Durban last weekend, where striker Noko Matlou scored the only goal of the match.

Makhabane, who has been in fine form for Sasol League (Gauteng) log-leaders, national champions Palace Super Falcons this season, returns to the 18-strong squad with Cape Town Roses teenage midfielder Jermaine Seopesenwe not travelling due to school exams.

Banyana Banyana caretaker coach Joseph Mkhonza has the option of positioning Makhabane in her left midfield role, which will allow Gabisile Hlumbane to return to her central midfield anchor position.

When given the opportunity to play on the left wing in Durban last weekend, Hlumbane, who represents Kovsies FC in the Free State Sasol League, played superbly — showing speed, quality ball control and accurate crossing.

The Banyana Banyana defence was seldom tested in the match against the Tunisians in Durban, but Mkhonza is fully aware that the Tunisians will be a different, and more difficult, proposition on home soil.

The Banyana Banyana squad to play Tunisia in the second leg Olympic Qualifier on 17 April:

Thoko Mndaweni — Croesus Ladies (Gauteng)
Andile Dlamini — Sundowns Ladies FC (Gauteng)
Janine van Wyk — Palace Super Falcons (Gauteng)
Nothando Vilakazi — Palace Super Falcons (Gauteng)
Yola Jafta — University of Johannesburg (Gauteng)
Amanda Sister — Birmingham Ladies FC (Eastern Cape)
Simphiwe Masina — Detroit Ladies FC (Mpumalanga)
Robyn Moodaly — Dlalantombazana FC (Gauteng)
Nomathemba Nsibande — Springs Homesweepers (Gauteng)
Nompumelelo Nyandeni — Rossiyank FC (Russia)
Mamello Makhabane — Palace Super Falcons (Gauteng)
Kylie Ann Louw — Stephen Austin University (Texas, USA)
Amanda Dlamini — University of Johannesburg (Gauteng)
Noko Matlou — Brazilians FC (Limpopo)
Zama Cele — Durban Ladies (KwaZulu Natal)
Nocawe Skiti — Cape Town Roses (Western Cape)
Memory Makhanya — Durban Ladies (KwaZulu Natal)
Gabisile Hlumbane — Kovsies FC (Free State)


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