Banyana eyeing points from average Argentina and Italy

By the time you read this story, Banyana Banyana will have already played their opening Group G encounter against favourites Sweden at the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup in Australia/New Zealand.

The game was played early this morning and now the big task ahead will be the girls’ second match against Argentina on Friday. Their last match in the group stages is against Italy on August 2.

Unlike their male counterparts, who are the reigning world champions, the Argentinian women’s team, also known as La Albiceleste, is not known for its huge impact on world cup finals. They also crashed out in the group stages of the previous world cup edition in France in 2019 without recording a victory.

But first, before the Argentinians lock horns with Desiree Ellis’ girls, they will go toe-to-toe with the Italians tomorrow.

The Argentinian squad is a mixture of youth and experience, with established players such as Atletico Madrid’s Estefanía Banini, Florencia Bonsegundo (Madrid CFF), Vanina Correa and Aldana Cometti. The other player to watch from the South Americans is Estefanía Banini, who became the first Argentinian woman to be named in Fifa’s Best World XI.

The 33-year-old will be playing in her second and probably last world cup.

Another key player is rising star Lorena Benítez, who made her debut for Argentina at the age of 13.

With six of the 23-member Banyana players coming from Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, head coach Jerry Tshabalala said he was delighted to see most of his players representing SA at the highest level. 

Tshabalala also said he did not rate Argentina and Italy highly, confidently expressing that South Africa could cause an upset and advance to the knockout stages. “I think those are the teams that we can collect three points from,” Tshabalala told Sunday World.

In other matches involving African countries, Nigeria got off to a good start when they held Canada to a goalless draw. Zambia, on the other hand, were handed a hefty 5-0 walloping by Japan yesterday, while north Africans Morocco will face a stern Germany test tomorrow.

For the Banyana v Sweden result, go to

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