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Basetsana ready for next step of World Cup qualifying
- Updated: January 7, 2014
The South African Under-20 women’s football team (Basetsana) have vowed to up the stakes when they take on Nigeria in the third and final round of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup qualifiers for Canada 2014.
Basetsana are among four African countries that will battle for two spots on the continent and join the last 14 at the 2014 edition of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup that will be staged between 5-24 August later this year.
Basetsana know what is at stake and will be looking to carry a positive mental attitude when they travel to the Nigeria on Thursday for the first leg encounter that will be played at the National Stadium in Abuja on Saturday (kick-off, 3pm SA time).
Coming from a 9-1 aggregate win over Tanzania in the second round, head coach Sheryl Botes feels this weeks’ preparations are crucial as they look to progress past the third round and book a historic spot for the World Cup.
The Basetsana mentor has assembled a strong squad of 18 players who are preparing for the crucial first leg qualifier at Edenvale Football Grounds and she’s of the opinion that preparations have been going well since the team resumed training on Saturday.
ÔÇ£Preparations have been going well since the girls came together on Saturday. We all know the importance of being in top condition for the match against Nigeria.
ÔÇ£We know it’s going to be a physical encounter, probably more physical than what we faced in Tanzania but we need to be prepared for any situation. The mood in camp is high and the girls want to do well against Nigeria,ÔÇØ said Botes.
Basetsana will be without the services of High Performance Centre left-winger, Gabriella Salgado who has a recurring muscle injury and US based forward, Robyn Moodaly who will be travelling back to the US due to study commitments.
ÔÇ£We are hoping to get everything right by the time we leave for Nigeria on Thursday. With the home ground advantage on Nigeria’s side, they will obviously be looking to start off positively but we want to contain them and hopefully squeeze in an away goal.
ÔÇ£We unfortunately had to exclude Gaby from the squad as she is recovering from a recurring muscle injury but we brought in Chamelle [Wiltshire), who will still be assessed to determine her readiness for the match. We want to do well against Nigeria and qualify for the World Cup. It would be good for the country,ÔÇØ said the Basetsana mentor.
The South Africans will return home on Monday.