CAF Wafcon Champions Banyana Banyana lost their opening FIFA Women’s World Cup match 2-1 against world number 3 Sweden on Sunday.

The Europeans came into the match as favourites and controlled play for the better part of the match. Banyana Banyana also had a few chances in the first half with Thembi Kgatlana coming close.

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The African Champions went into the break the happier side with the score at 0-0. Sweden had a 60% possession to Banyana Banyana’s 28% but was unable to find the finishing touch.

Banyana Banyana lost their FIFA Women's World Cup opener against Sweden
South Africa lost to Sweden on Sunday

SOUTH AFRICA LOST OPENING MATCH

But South Africa found the lead through Limpopo-born striker Hildah Magaia who was unfortunately taken off immediately through an injury. But the celebrations were short-lived after Sweden found the equaliser through Fridolina Rolfo in the 65th minute. Sweden found the winner in the 89th minute through Amanda Ilestedt and in the end Banyana Banyana lost 2-1 in the FIFA Women’s World Cup clash.

More to follow…

Banyana Banyana defender Bambanani Mbane believes that clinching the CAF Women’s African Cup of Nations will boost the team’s confidence at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Banyana will face Sweden in their opening match on Sunday, 23 July at 07:00.

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup commenced on Thursday; however, the South African women’s national team will kick off their campaign on Sunday against the Blue and Yellow side.

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According to Mbane, Banyana are aware of the mammoth task ahead. But they believe after winning the Women’s African Cup of Nations no mountain will ever be too high for them to climb.

“We know that Sweden will be a challenge,” she said. “But we know that we’ve won the AFCON before and that alone shows that anything is possible regardless of the team you are up against.”

“We know everything that we do starts from training, we can sometimes be unhappy with the load of work, but we know what are being prepared for,”

How Wafcon triumph can boost Banyana Banyana at the FIFA Women's World Cup
Banyana Banyana during a training session

“Coming to a place knowing that you’re also a champion does boost your confidence,” she added.

The 33-year-old defender also emphasized that during their debut, they were quite inexperienced. But now they possess the valuable experience of champions. As a result, they must deliver a significantly improved performance, especially since the entire South Africa will be watching closely.

CAN WAFCON TITLE BOOST BANYANA BANYANA CONFIDENCE AT THE WOMEN’S WORLD CUP?

“In 2019 it was our first World Cup, we didn’t know what to expect but this time around we are coming as African Champs,”

“It’s not going to be easy but I think the team will work hard because we have discussed why we are here and we have to show them back at home, why we are here and we made promises that we will at least put in a great effort in our performance even if we don’t come back with a gold,”

The match is scheduled to kick off at 7:00 am SA time.

By Sinolwetu Tompela