The South African U20 Women’s side suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat at the hands of hosts Ghana in a practice match played at the Cape Coast Sports Complex, south of Ghana.
The home side, who have been in camp for two weeks, led 2-0 at the break.
Both nations were using the match to prepare for upcoming third and final round of the 2018 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup qualifiers – Ghana will face Cameroon while South Africa take on Nigeria. Both games are scheduled for weekend of 12 – 14 January and only two nations will qualify to represent the African continent in France.
Despite the scoreline, Basetsana head coach Maud Khumalo is not losing sleep.
“We have achieved our objective because it was not about the results. I brought this squad to Ghana to see our shortcomings as we will be facing Nigeria, so for me it was a worthwhile exercise. I wanted to see the mental strength of the players, how they deal with physical opposition. I noticed that we have all of that but we tend to drop as the game progresses. When you are facing tough opposition, mental strength becomes key same as physique,” said Khumalo.
Travelling with 18 players for the clash will Ghana, the former Banyana Banyana player gave all the players a run.
“I wanted to see if the other players can do the business, and replace them if a need arises. I realised that if I use the core team I would not see those shortcomings because what happens if the regular players are not available, who will replace them? So this exercise was a very good one. I am very happy with what I have seen and when I sit down to make plans for the Nigeria game it will be an informed decision,” added Khumalo.
Basetsana will arrive home on Sunday morning (31 December 2017), and after a short recess will be back in camp early in the new year to continue with preparations for the Nigeria fixture.
The 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup will be the 9th edition of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
The tournament will be held in France from 5 to 24 August 2018.