Banyana gunning for their first Women’s Afcon title

South Africa have reached the finals of the TotalEnergies CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations four times, each time walking away with the silver medal – so no doubt Banyana Banyana will be desperate to lose the bridesmaids tag.

The loss in the 2018 edition must have been especially difficult and Desiree Ellis’s side will be gunning for redemption.

South Africa head to the competition high on confidence, especially after having beaten rivals Nigeria on their home ground during the Aisha Buhari Cup.

Also, the return of Portugal-based striker Jermaine Seoposenwe, who was absent from the national side for two years, is a big boost for the team hunting its first continental title.

Following Banyana’s gallant performance in their maiden Fifa Women’s World Cup in France, South Africa saw a host of players being grabbed by different leagues in Europe. This means the team now has more players plying their trade in top leagues, which should give them a competitive edge.

The South African squad boasts the services of Thembi Kgatlana and Noko Matlou, who played as teammates for Eibar in Spain before the 2018 African Women’s Player of the Year moved to Atletico Madrid while Linda Motlhalo has been enjoying her football in Sweden with Djurgårdens IF since 2020.

Experienced defender Lebohang Ramalepe has now become an integral part of the of the Dinamo Minsk side where she has already won two league titles.

The launch of the national league later that year also saw the best players in South Africa competing weekly at a high intensity level which has now given the technical team a large pool to select from.

Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies have won the league title twice and have also won the inaugural CAF Women’s Champions League, becoming the best women’s side on the continent.

Andile Dlamini, Bambanani Mbane, Melinda Kgadiete and Thalea Smidt bring their continental experience to the Banyana side that are out to dim the Super Falcons of Nigeria’s light.

The Super League also saw the rise of Nthabiseng Majiya, who is the youngest player in the Banyana squad for the tournament. The 18-year-old challenged experienced players in the league and was one of the top goal-scorer contenders in the first season.

Furthermore the financial carrot dangled by the South African FA is another reason to motivate Ellis’s side to finally clinch that elusive Afcon gold medal.

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