Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis has announced the national team that will face Japan in the International Friendly match on Sunday the 10th of November. The 22 player squad will play at the Kitakyushu Stadium in Fukuoka.
The Asians are ranked 10th in the world, while Banyana are ranked 55th. Japan was the first Asian team to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2011.
They also won silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics and 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Banyana are coming from the disappointment of missing out on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualification. Ellis says they will use the match to redeem themselves.
Some of the players will miss out due to the examinations such as Hilda Magaia, Amanda Mthandi, Bongeka Gamede, Karabo Dhlamini and Sibulele Holweni. There is only one new cap, Lelona Daweti from Mamelodi Sundowns according to Ellis.
Ellis has kept the bulk of the squad that did duty in their last match against Botswana, in the Olympic qualifiers in September. She says most of the players are still young.
The South African Football Association also unveiled the logo for Banyana during the Press Conference at the SABC on Friday afternoon. Safa Acting CEO Russel Paul says it is a proud moment for the women.
Meanwhile, the SABC will broadcast the match at 3pm. The match will kick-off at 5:45 am South African time. Japan is seven hours ahead. SABC’s Acting GE for Corporate Affairs and Marketing Phil Moilwa explains. – Report by Vincent Sitsula