Banyana hopes to make SA proud at Olympics

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Banyana's head coach Joseph Mkhonza said the mood at the camp was "nervous but excited, and players couldn't wait for the Olympic Games action to begin".

"We have had a look at the match venue and have a fully fit team of 18 players to choose from for the match against Sweden.

"We have known since we beat Ethiopia in September last year that we were going to play at the Olympics, so I don't believe the moment will be too big for our players," said Mkhonza.

The South African senior women's team has had a solid build-up to the Olympic Games, and will put Sweden's statistics far out of their minds when they lace up their boots for action.

Banyana are placed fourth on the Confederation of African football rankings, while the Swedish are ranked second in Europe.

Sweden beat France 2-1 in the playoff for third and fourth places at the 2011 FIFA World Cup held in Germany last year, and it is these two nations that will represent Europe at the Olympics over the next few weeks.

Following the match against Sweden, Banyana will play their next Group F fixture at the same venue on Saturday, 28 July against Canada 3:45pm before playing FIFA World Cup women's champions Japan in Cardiff, Wales in their final group fixture on Tuesday, 31 July at 3:30pm.

The 12 teams have been drawn in three groups of four teams each, with the top two sides from each group and the best two third placed teams, qualifying for the last eight knockout stage of the competition.

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