Van Wyk highlights Banyana’s weakness
Posted: 22 January 2019 Time: 06:00
Banyana Banyana captain Janine van Wyk has pointed out the area where her side need to raise their game, despite acknowledging their improvement over the past year.
South Africa take on Sweden in their second international friendly in the space of three days at Cape Town Stadium this evening, with the national senior women's team looking to continue their upward trajectory in their preparations for this year’s FIFA World Cup.
“The team has grown a lot over the past year,” skipper Van Wyk told reporters. “We’ve had some quality matches over the past year that have helped us develop our game, and the confidence is there after qualifying for the World Cup, but obviously we need to step it up. The coaches expect us to improve and our performance-level has really risen from our point of view as players, but we know that the opponents will not be a walk in the park. They’re the type of opponents we’ll play in the World Cup and we need to be prepared when we reach that final stage of preparation.”
Having conceded all four goals in their last five games in the first-half, Van Wyk, who suffered a groin injury and will miss tonight’s clash, admits this is their Achilles heel, before admitting the team needs to convert their good performances into results.
“We need to stop conceding in the first half, especially in the opening minutes of the game, and I think we’ll be a very tough team to break down if we don’t concede early,” she said. “If we do that, we’ll develop in our game as well.
“Against Netherlands we put up a good performance compared to last year when we played here, but we know there needs to be more done for us to compete better and win games. People might say the performance was good, but we need the result to show for it and that’s what we’re striving towards.”
Sweden, ranked ninth in the world compared to Banyana’s 48th, beat the hosts 3-0 the last time they played in Cape Town last year, and Van Wyk knows they pose a difficult challenge.
“Sweden is not an easy opponent,” she said. “They’re very physical, very direct and very clinical in front of goal and we need to stop that. Hopefully we’ll get not just a good performance, but a good result as well.”
Kick-off at Cape Town Stadium is set for 19h00.