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Mkhonza hails Banyana Banyana’s rise up the rankings
- Updated: June 25, 2013
Banyana Banyana head coach Joseph Mkhonza says it’s the national women’s soccer side’s goal to break into the top three teams on the African continent.
The coach was speaking after Banyana Banyana moved up two places on the latest Coca-Cola FIFA women’s world rankings.
The high-riding Banyana Banyana, who were part of Team South Africa at last year’s Olympics in London, moved from 53 to 51th position. The upward trend was no doubt influenced by the 5-0 demolition of neighbours Mozambique and a credible 1-1 draw with Zimbabwe this month.
The top five rankings on the continent remain the same with Nigeria (32) leading the pack followed by Cameroon (48) and Ghana (49). Banyana Banyana remain in the 4th position followed by 2012 AWC Champions Equatorial Guinea (52).
Mkhonza was elated upon receiving the news and said this was a great stepping stone for his squad to continue building on their success. ÔÇ£This is good for the girls. It is encouraging to see the girls’ achievements being rewarded. The intention is to continue our rise and break into the top 20 in the world,ÔÇØ said Mkhonza.
ÔÇ£Our immediate goal is to break into the top three on the continent because I believe we are far much better than the fourth place we currently occupy. We were at the Olympics and reached the finals of the African Women Championships. I think we are not far off from being among the best on the continent,ÔÇØ he said.
The soft-spoken coach expressed appreciation to Banyana Banyana’s number one sponsors, Sasol for their continued support in helping the squad realise its goals.
ÔÇ£I would like to thank Sasol and SAFA for the support they have given to women’s football in the country as well as our fans for standing behind us. The continued growth on the rankings should serve up as motivation to the players to keep working harder and represent the nation with pride,ÔÇØ said Mkhonza.
The next rankings will be released on 2 August.