Kgatlana says the Tanzania clash is “Personal” as they look for Olympics redemption

Written by on 23 February, 2024

By Ayanda Nyuswa

Banyana Banyana captain Thembi Kgatlana says the first leg of their Olympic qualifier against Tanzania is personal and crucial as they search for Olympic redemption after failing to qualify for the Tokyo games in 2021. South Africa will face Tanzania in Dar es Salaam on Friday in the first leg of the third round of qualifiers for the Paris Olympics. The two-legged tie will be followed by a final round of qualifiers to determine the two countries that will represent Africa in Paris later this year.

The South African senior Women’s team has not qualified for the Olympic games since Rio in 2016, as they failed to make the cut for  Tokyo. Coach Desiree Ellis’ side has went on to achieve great  things in other competitions winning the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations and 2022 and reaching the round of 16 at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The last time the two sides met was in 2014 in a friendly match that South Africa won by 6-1. The winner of this tie will reach the final round of qualifiers and face either Nigeria or Cameroon for a shot at reaching the Olympic games. South Africa’s captain Thembi Kgatlana believes this match is personal for Banyana Banyana as they look to redeem themselves for their past failures at this stage. Kgatlana has emphasized the importance of the first leg encounter in setting the right platform for the return leg at home next week.


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