Johannesburg – The South African U-20 Women’s National Team is confident of overturning the away loss they suffered to Uganda in the African U-20 Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament.
Basetsana, which is well known, was beaten one-nil by Uganda in a closely-contested match at the St Mary’s Stadium in Kitende, earlier this month, 3 December.
The South Africans have had to make changes to their playing personnel for the second leg after several players who featured in the first leg tested positive for Covid 19.
“Things are looking good, for now, we are trying to make the best of the situation we find ourselves in.
“Unfortunately, we have players who have tested positive for Covid-19 and are not able to be with us,” said Basetsana coach Jabulile Baloyi.
The squad held their first training session with a full complement of players on Wednesday and Thursday.
“Covid 19 has been a terrible challenge for us but we have tried to replace where we can. Fortunately, the replacements we have called are all negative with Covid 19 and that pleases us because that is a good start.”
The biggest obstacle for the South African is that some of the selected players are new to the international football scene, more so at such a crucial stage of the qualifiers.
“It is a bit of a challenge as we have players that have never been in the national team set-up before and you can see at training that the nerves are there as they don’t know what to expect.
But this is a baptism of fire for them and it is something that we need to overcome. I have high hopes they will be ready come matchday,” added Baloyi.
Even though they want to win the match outright and qualify for the next round, the former Banyana Banyana player is well aware that a one-nil victory will give her side a fighting chance to stay in the qualifiers as the match could be decided on penalties in the event it ends 1-1 on aggregate.
“We are just hoping they quickly get into the system we want to play and challenge for that early goal as it will help us to settle down, and play our normal game. But we would like to finish the game as winners,” said Baloyi.
Basetsana will face Uganda this afternoon.
According to the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) website, Ayub Khalifa Kiyingi, the head coach of the Uganda U-20 Women’s National Team, has named a squad of 20 players to take on Basetsana.
The second leg of the third round will take place today at the Dobsonville Stadium.
Kick-off is at 15h00.
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