- Debut Hawaii win for Jordy Smith
- Blitzboks skipper calls for improvement on home soil
- Runaway Test win for South Africa in India
- Olympian Stone pounces at Leopard Creek
- SA team extend lead in Indian Test
- Blitzboks blast past Kiwis to reach Dubai semi-finals
- Van Niekerk pays tribute to triumphant Bolt
- Banyana dominate but go down to Ghana in playoff
- Blitzboks bag three wins in Dubai
- International honours for Olympic coach Barrow
Captain Van Wyk happy but says Banyana must learn to bury chances
- Updated: June 9, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
They may return to South Africa on Thursday without a point from their two friendlies against the Netherlands but the Banyana Banyana national women’s side have plenty of positive points to work on.
The Vera Pauw coached side went down 1-0 and 2-0 to the host nation in friendlies played on Saturday and Tuesday.
And despite the defeats captain Janine van Wyk brings home some hope.
‘I must say that Tuesday’s match was a really tough match compared to our first one but what we managed to do well was keep them out of goal for the first 30-36 minutes,’ she told Road to Rio 2016.
‘They then scored a great goal and there was nothing Roxanne [Barker, ‘keeper] could do about it although she did manage to get a hand on to it.
‘So then it was 1-0 at the break and then we conceded that second goal in stoppage time and it was 2-0. Looking back at the two games and overall it was good experience us coming to the Netherlands and doing our very best to try and get a result.
‘So even though we didn’t get one point in the two games it was a good test for us. I honestly thine we performed really well. We are creating chances but just struggling to actually score at the moment and this is something we need to work on in future.
‘Playing at such a high level it’s hard to create chances, so the fact that we are creating chances is a positive sign. Now we come him and work on the things that need working on and then the next game for us is against the United States next month and we all know that is going to be yet another big test.’
For her part Pauw is also pleasantly surprised with her team’s performance against her former team.
‘The Netherlands are ranked 13th in the world, they have been to the last 16 of the World Cup – that in itself shows that a 1-0 and 2-0 defeat is not something to be embarrassed about or that we have not done well, even though as a sportsperson you always want to win and the same goes for the players. The fact is we had our chances but did not use them. We have seen that we we can definitely play against any team,’ said Pauw.
‘We need to see if the level of the likes of Germany, France, USA are within our reach. We learnt that we need to stay flexible when under pressure because there were moments in the game when we were able to hold them but did not do much with our attacking options. There was a period of about 30 minutes in the game when we matched them and were even better, and that is really an encouraging step towards the Olympics.
Pauw added that the two matches have shown a lot of improvement from her charges, but also indicated there is still some work to be done.
‘There have been some very good step ups from some players who have really done well but then again there are also some players that need to step up. The pressure of the game must not restrict you as a player but it must bring the best out of you. We know that we have to rely on teamwork than the teams with bigger players as they can compensate with their physical strength. So yes we have made a huge step especially defensively, but we must make bigger steps when we attack,’ added Pauw.