'It's the last chance for most of us'


Banyana face Chile in two friendly matches, on Saturday and again on Tuesday, and Smeda believes these are the type of games that will help them see how they measure up against opposition outside the African continent.

Banyana are determined to finish in the top three at the 2018 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), which will guarantee them a spot at the 2019 World Cup in France.

The AFCON will be played in Ghana in November.

“I personally feel we stand a good chance. The team has been performing well this year. I think the team is doing well with experienced players and the young one coming in. I think going into AFCON there will be a good base set for the team,” Smeda tells SAFA's website.

“Qualifying for the World Cup would be great because for most of us it’s the last chance we have to qualify. In the past we have come so close, so hopefully this year we won’t make the same mistakes.”

After winning the COSAFA Women’s Championship recently, Smeda is hoping the team can carry on with the good form.

“I think it’s going to be difficult games. We’ve never played Chile before, so it will be a learning curve. It will be good game in preparation for AFCON, to see how the team can play against South American opposition.

“Obviously the team spirit is at a high after winning COSAFA, so hopefully we will take that into these games. Hopefully we can improve on mistakes we made in the COSAFA. We want to score more goals and see how we measure up against Chile. It’s going to be different opposition from what we played at COSAFA. If we can get good results.”