South Africa’s World Cup-bound women’s national team will play two high-profile friendlies in the next week as they host the Netherlands and Sweden in Cape Town.
The COSAFA Women’s Championship holders take on two of the best sides in the woirld in matches that will be played in honour of struggle veterans Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Albertina Sisulu respectively.
Banyana Banyana host the Dutch on Saturday afternoon, before a meeting with the Swedes on Tuesday night. Both matches are at the Cape Town Stadium.
South Africas hosted Sweden for a friendly exactly 12 months ago and lost 3-0, though the match was more even than the scoreline suggests.
“Preparation is key,” Banyana coach Desiree Ellis said. “Our physical condition has to be top notch, but the fantastic friendlies we had last year were very important.
“We play Sweden again, and they are also going to the World Cup, so it is great preparation for us. We are also going to go out there to do our best to make the names of Mandela and Sisulu proud.
“It’s a big year for us. Nobody gave us a chance when going to Afcon. I know the World Cup is a few steps up, but we are grateful for the opportunity.”