Banyana rookie overcomes her fear

Mohlakoana is expected to start after shining on her debut when stepping off the bench in a goalless draw with Slovakia in the tournament opener on Wednesday.

The 25-year-old admits she was nervous before replacing Leandra Smeda in the 64th minute, but still managed to earn high praise from coach Desiree Ellis.

"I was excited but scared at the same time – I could not believe the coach had called out my name to go in," said Mohlakoana, who was scouted by the national selectors at the 2017 Sasol League National Playoffs in Nelspruit in December, where she helped her side Bloemfontein Celtic retain the trophy.

"But I told myself I had to put the fear aside and go on to the field as I had a job to do. It was a tough match, especially for me as I was making my debut, but I was able to settle down after a few touches of the ball. We created a lot of chances but did not convert them.

“What remains now is to focus on our next game as there is nothing we can do about the one we have played. For the Hungary match, we must continue from where left off, but this time make use of all the chances we get. This is a very good tournament, and we get great experience facing teams that are higher ranked than us because it is not every day that we take on these countries. I will ensure that I use to the maximum every opportunity I get given to play."

Ellis's charges have also been paired with Korea DPR in Group H.