South African star blows hot ahead of 2022 WAFCON clash
South Africa is prepared to dethrone Nigeria at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations coming up in Morocco next month.
South Africa striker Thembi Kgatlana, who was the top scorer and best player of the tournament back in 2018, said this ahead of her country’s group C opening match with Nigeria.
‘’I think for a number of years the Banyana Banyana didn’t have any major players playing in the top women’s leagues overseas and that gave Nigeria and other teams the edge because they have been able to do it,’’ recalled the South African star.
‘’Today things are starting to go well for our team because we have a number of players based overseas which means they are training every day, physically and mentally, at a high level.
‘’With internationals playing in the best leagues, the Banyana-Banyana can present competitive players and bridge the gap against the best selections on the continent,’’ she noted.
The 26-year-old was involved in the three of the last meetings with Nigeria and scored on both occasions that the South Africans pipped their West African rivals, including at the September 2021 Aisha Buhari Cup in Lagos.
The two nations are in Group C alongside Burundi and Botswana.
The 2022 edition will serve as the African qualifier for the 2023 Women’s World Cup and the forward is confident that they will work hard to reach the knockout stages to clinch a back-to-back ticket.
Speaking further, Kgatlana said, “South Africa must play with the same energy against all their opponents even against the teams that will be in this competition for the first time, we must play with a lot of rigour and discipline, we are not going to underestimate anyone.
“The objective will be to go to the end, to enter the quarters then the semi-finals for us, that means taking the matches one after the other, that’s what we did in the 2018 edition,” she added.