Refiloe Jane: Banyana have to be on point against Korea DPR in Cyprus Cup
Posted: 5 March 2018 Time: 08:30
Banyana Banyana vice-captain Refiloe Jane says the team has to be "on point" in today's Cyprus Cup clash with Korea DPR.
The nations will contest their final Group C match at Stadio Tasos Markos in Paralimni, with kick-off at 13h00.
Both sides haven’t lost a match. Korea DPR defeated Slovakia and Hungary to move to the top of the pool with six points, while South Africa played to a goalless draw against Slovakia and beat Hungary 1-0, leaving them two points poorer in second spot.
A win for Banyana will give them a shot at playing for third place in the tournament, which would be the highest South Africa has ever reached since making their debut in the showpiece in 2009.
A defeat or a draw for coach Desiree Ellis’s charges will have them fighting for position five or six.
Jane expects a contest against the Koreans.
"They are not an easy side to play, they are very comfortable on the ball and knock it around nicely and confidently," Jane said.
"In a way, we are playing the same type of football, so that game will demand a lot from us. They are mobile and we need to make sure we are on point on the day.
"It is a game that we have win so we can get our best finish in the tournament. It is not going to be an easy one, however, because both teams haven’t lost. So one can say it is a top-of-the-table clash. We want to win so we can go for third and fourth position – and that will be our best showing ever in the tournament. We are ready for them and we will give it our best."
Banyana are using the tournament to prepare for the qualifiers for the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations that will be held in Ghana later this year. The event will double as a World Cup qualifier.
"This is an important tournament for us, looking at the hectic schedule we have in 2018. We have to qualify for the 2018 African Women’s Cup of Nations where we need to finish in the top three to qualify for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. This year is going to be a busy one for us, so a good showing at this tournament is crucial so we can be better prepared for the road ahead," Jane added.
After two rounds of matches, Slovakia are third in Group C with just one point, while Hungary are fourth after two losses.
Group A consists of Finland, Switzerland, Italy and Wales, while Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic and Spain are in Group B.
According to the format of the tournament, South Africa can’t win the competition, but if they finish top of the table they will face the best runners up from Groups A and B for the third and fourth place play-off.
Should Banyana finish second, they will take on the second best runners up from Groups A and B for a fifth or sixth place play-off.
The 11th edition of the Cyprus Women Cup kicked off on February 28 and will conclude on Wednesday.
It involves 12 women’s national teams, mainly from Europe.
The competition has been held since 2008, and Switzerland are the current champions.
This is South Africa’s sixth appearance, and their highest finish was sixth in 2009. They ended eighth in 2010, 10th in 2012, 11th in 2013 and 10th in 2015.