The Sixth edition of the Cosafa Women’s Cup starts in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.
Host nation and defending champions, South Africa are in Group A and will take on Madagascar in the late game at Wolfson Stadium.
The other teams in the group; Botswana and Malawi, will kick off the proceedings.
The Indian Ocean islanders look less formidable, as compared to the other teams in the group. However, despite their lowly-ranked status, they’ll draw inspiration from their countrymen, who held a strong Senegalese side to a two-all draw in an African Cup of Nations qualifier, last Sunday.
“Winning gives you that confidence and playing well also gives you the confidence. So, it’s about getting results put up a good performance. That will really set the tone for Afcon. Players in the squad are just playing to win the trophy; they also want to make the Afcon squad.”
Vice-captain and mid-fielder, Refiloe Jane says they’re not taking their opponents lightly.
“We had a good look at our opponents Madagascar. We know that they are not physical but they have good players. Their goalkeeper is very good. We are not going to underestimate any team in the tournament … so it’s not going to be easy for anyone,” adds Jane.
Banyana captain and defender, Janine van Wyk, mid-fielder Linda Mothlalo and striker Thembi Kgatlane, are likely to miss the opening match.
The three players were released late by their USA club, Houston Dash, and are reported to be on their way to South Africa.
In another development, Chuene Morifi has been roped in to replace the injured Tisetso Makhubela.