South Africa bracing up for tough Nigeria showdown

Linda Mothlalo - SA

Coming off a 3-0 victory over Ghana, South Africa are aiming to wrap up their international outing in the Aisha Buhari Cup in style when they take on hosts Nigeria on Tuesday, September 21.

Banyana Banyanatrounced the Black Queens to secure their biggest victory in all nine meetings and also ended a six-match winless streak over their West African counterparts last Friday.

The comprehensive triumph gave Desiree Ellis' side a huge confidence boost ahead of their showdown with Nigeria in their last match of the invitational tournament at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena.

Desiree Ellis - ABC

The reigning African Women's Coach of the Year has spoken up on how her side is aiming to approach the high-profile tune-up match against the Super Falcons.

"We've got more footage of Nigeria playing other matches and we have to look at all of that to analyse because it's different opposition. We have to make sure that we get the plan right," said Ellis.

"They got two late goals (against Mali), but we know what they (Nigeria) are capable of. They are not just the number one team in Africa for nothing and have shown the pedigree for many years. We have to remain at the top of our game and concentrated too."

On her possible line up, the former South Africa international vowed to put forward her very best legs in the bid to claim an upset win over Randy Waldrum's ladies.

"We are always looking at playing other players and also win the game. We also want to put our best lineup on the field," she continued.

"Our players are always ready to step up. It doesn't matter who gets chosen. We've shown that over the last couple of years that we trust the players and their abilities which is the most important thing. If the player gets given an opportunity I am sure they will rise up."

Janine Van wyk

For captain Janine Van Wyk, the legend is relishing the showdown with the African champions as she expects a tough encounter.

"I think everyone is looking to see the clash between South Africa and Nigeria once again as we will never know what is going to happen," Van Wyk, who plays for Glasgow City told CAFOnline.com.

"In terms of experience and what happened in 2018, it always going to be a tough competition between us because no team wants to lose. 

"I think from a player's perspective, I'm looking forward to the game, we know it is going be tough because Nigeria as well is not going to sit back. They'll never want to lose too to South Africa likewise us as well. So we know, we should give our very best till we get the victory."

Kgatlana and Linda

Kgatlana scored the only goal in Banyana 1-0 group stage victory over Nigeria before the shoot-out loss in the final of the 2018 TotalEnergies Africa Women's Cup of Nations and the striker is anxious to help her side repeat same feat. 

“It is going to be an interesting game. We shocked a lot of people in 2018 in Ghana when we beat Super Falcons. I expect the game to be tough, but we are more attacking minded." 

South Africa will slug it out with Mozambique in the first round of the women's AFCON qualifiers in October 2021, but need to defend their COSAFA Women's Cup crown on later this month.

South Africa - Women ABC

Photos@AishaBuhariCup