Home SportsSoccer High Stakes Clash at Loftus Versfeld as Banyana Banyana Faces Nigeria in Olympic Qualifier

High Stakes Clash at Loftus Versfeld as Banyana Banyana Faces Nigeria in Olympic Qualifier

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Banyana Banyana get first leg advantage against Algeria

Banyana Banyana will take on the Super Falcons of Nigeria in the decisive second leg of the CAF Women’s Olympic qualifiers. The match scheduled for Tuesday evening at Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria, comes with heightened anticipation, especially since the away goal rule has been scrapped, leaving everything to play for in this direct encounter.

Banyana Banyana, having faced a setback with a 1-0 defeat in the first leg at Abuja, Nigeria, is under pressure but not without hope. Head coach Desiree Ellis expressed confidence in the squad’s ability to overturn the deficit and secure their spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics. “Looking forward to the game tomorrow, we have looked at the footage [first game] as well. We know we are better than what we showed in Nigeria. We can do way better than that, and I think the second half showed how well we can play. It is a match we have to win,” Ellis emphasized.

The imperative for Banyana Banyana is clear from Ellis’s strategy to seize an early advantage. “We have to put everything into it to make sure that we get the goal early to be able to kickstart from there. We know it won’t be easy, Nigeria got the one goal advantage and we have to prepare for every eventuality.”

Sinoxolo Cesane’s inclusion in the squad marks the only change from the team that journeyed to Nigeria, as she missed the first leg due to travel restrictions. Moreover, the occasion is set to become even more memorable for defender Lebohang Ramalepe, who is on the cusp of earning her 100th cap for South Africa, should she feature in the match.

Set to kick off at 19:30pm, the match will be broadcasted live, ensuring fans don’t miss a moment of what is set to be a fiercely contested game.

Tickets remain available for those wishing to witness the spectacle firsthand at Loftus Stadium, with sales ongoing from 12h00 until the 19h30 kick-off on Tuesday, 9 April 2024. A special concession has been made for students, who can gain free entry by showing their student cards at the gates up until 19h00. In addition, the Gautrain has generously offered free transportation from Park Station to Hatfield for those presenting a match ticket, ensuring fans can enjoy the game without worrying about their return journey, even if the match extends into penalties.

Banyana Banyana get first leg advantage against Algeria
Banyana Banyana get first leg advantage against Algeria

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