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Warm-up win for Banyana

Our Banyana Banyana national women’s soccer side defeated Cape Town Roses 7-0 in a practice match played in Stellenbosch on Thursday

The match was part of the side’s training camp currently underway until 29 January.

The win over the Western Cape Sasol League provincial winners allowed head coach Joseph Mkhonza the opportunity of giving game time to some relatively newcomers into the national squad.

Attacking midfielder Nondyebo Mgudu, who plays for Durban Ladies in the Sasol League (KwaZulu-Natal) showed skill and commitment in playing on the artificial playing surface, while North West-based goalkeeper Mputle Ntshetsana had a trouble-free 45 minutes of game time in the Banyana Banyana goal in the first half of the match.

Doing South Africa proud at the 2012 London Olympic Games is the national team’s main focus, but the immediate assignment is the Cyprus Women’s Cup next month and Mkhonza is well aware of the importance of putting in good performances at the tournament.

ÔÇ£This month’s national training camp in Stellenbosch is a key phase in building up endurance levels and the 23 players present are working hard to stay in the mix for team selection,ÔÇØ said Mkhonza.

ÔÇ£But the door is definitely not closed to anyone. We are on the lookout for other players who will be able to add further skill and value to the Olympic campaign. The national coaches will visit several Sasol League matches in search of additional talent.ÔÇØ

Banyana Banyana will travel to Cyprus ranked 67th on the FIFA world list, and will take on 16th ranked South Korea in their opening group fixture, before facing 24th ranked New Zealand and 64th ranked Northern Ireland.

The US-based duo of goalkeeper Roxanne Barker and midfielder Kylie Ann Louw, as well as Russian-based midfielder Nompumelelo Nyandeni attended the first few days of physical testing and conditioning at the national camp in Stellenbosch before returning to their respective clubs.


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