South Africa’s Strategy to Upset Nigeria in Abuja

Banyana Banyana of South Africa are determined to defy the heat of Abuja and overcome Nigeria’s Super Falcons in the first leg of their final qualifier for this year’s Olympic Games’ women’s football event.

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Both teams will lock horns on Friday evening at Moshood Abiola National Stadium, starting at 6pm, and though one of the visiting players, Nomvula Kgoale, admitted that the weather in Abuja is hot, she stressed that she and her colleagues are determined to win.

She also confessed that the pitch is heavier than what they have back home in South Africa, but added that many of them are used to playing under adverse conditions at their various bases abroad.

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She declared, “It’s the last round before we qualify for the Olympics. All our players are happy, and we’re adjusting to the weather.

“We are waiting for some of the other players to arrive so we can have a full squad.

“Back at home, the weather is thinner. Over here, it is heavier, but, personally, I’ve played in the United States for almost six years, and I know what it feels like to play in this kind of weather.

“It almost feels like you are breathing heat. The grass is also heavier here. I’m sure in two days’ time we would have adjusted and be ready for the game.”

The Banyana ace, fondly called Lipstick Lady by her fans, also conceded that it would be a tough match, especially with the Falcons seeking to avenge a defeat they suffered the last time both sides met.

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She however, insisted that the current African champions will prove their mettle once again, considering that they know how crucial the game is.

She acknowledged the Falcons’ strong pedigree, hence the need for the visitors to be strong in all aspects of the game, and ensure that they come out unscathed ahead of the second leg at home on Tuesday.

Kgoale admitted, “It’s extremely important for us to be mentally tough. We know how Nigeria are so tough. They’ve won WAFCON many times.

They’ve done so well at the World Cup, but we have also done well.

“We know that we beat them the last time, so they’ll be looking for revenge.

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This is going to be a really tough game, here at away and back at home.

“It’s going to be a really, really tough game, but I’m 100% sure that we are ready mentally, physically, emotionally. We are ready to go.”

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