Kgatlana: Banyana are like newlyweds
Posted: 15 January 2019 Time: 18:30
Banyana Banyana attacker Thembi Kgatlana says their international friendlies with the Netherlands and Sweden will give them a clear idea on their readiness for the FIFA Women's World Cup.
Banyana take on the Netherlands in the Winnie Madikizela-Mandela Inauguration Challenge at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday (15h00), and then face Sweden at the same venue next Tuesday (19h00).
The Netherlands are currently ranked seventh in the world, while Sweden are ninth, so these two countries will no doubt give Banyana good tests as they prepare for the World Cup set to take place in France from June 7 to July 7.
“It’s been good to come back after having the December break, but during the break we were given programmes to be fit because we know we are playing two high-quality teams from Europe,” said Kgatlana, who was crowned African Women’s Player of the Year last week.
“We played Sweden last January and we lost 3-0, but we had a good performance, but at the end of the day it’s the goals that count. We’ve played the Netherlands before, so it’s going to be a tough one to play two quality teams from Europe after the Christmas break.”
The Houston Dash midfielder added: “I think these games are going to be important for us as a team because we are like newlyweds – we just qualified for the World Cup and they have been there before. It will be good to measure ourselves against them, see where we are. We still have a long way to prepare and it’s good that we get the best team to prepare with.”
Banyana, ranked 48th in the world, will also have a practice match against Sweden behind closed doors.