Banyana Banyana’s emphatic 6-0 hammering of Malawi on Monday showed all their quality as an attacking threat‚ but a greater challenge awaits them in the semifinals of the 2018 Cosafa Women’s Championship when they clash with Uganda.
SA are the defending champions and with fellow African Women’s Championship qualifiers Zambia and Cameroon are favourites to take the title.
But Uganda showed their mettle with a 2-1 victory over Zimbabwe to reach the last four, and Banyana captain Janine van Wyk knows they will present a challenge on Thursday.
"Any opponent that we play will come out against Banyana and give their best‚" Van Wyk said. "We need to be aware of that‚ but also focus on ourselves. They are obviously going to analyse us too and focus on our weaknesses and try and prevent us from scoring goals.
"We need to be prepared for anything that comes our way. Coach [Desiree Ellis] will prepare us well for Uganda‚ show us their strengths and weaknesses‚ and we just need to come out and perform. We are in it to win it‚ not for ourselves‚ but as a team," she said.
While retaining the Cosafa trophy would be a boost‚ Van Wyk admits the big prize is qualifying for the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup in France.
To do that they must finish in the top three at the African Women’s Championship in Ghana in November.
"Before our first game against Madagascar I had a word with the team and told them that this is where it starts‚ our preparation for the World Cup‚" Van Wyk said.
"Yes‚ we are defending champions in this tournament‚ but we need to start looking at the bigger picture and that is the World Cup."