Banyana Banyana midfielder Kholosa Biyana believes herself and her teammates will not have any problems adapting to the hot weather in Kinshasha as they prepare to face DR Congo.
Banyana Banyana, as South Africa’s senior women’s soccer side is affectionately known, are preparing for their match against the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It is one of the 2024 Olympic Games qualification matches for African sides.
South Africa were one of seven nations who received a bye during the first round of qualification, owing to their fantastic performance at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations – which they won for the first time in their history.
They then went ahead to build on that performance at this year’s Fifa Women’s World Cup. During the New Zealand and Australia-hosted global showpiece, Banyana became the first South African senior soccer side, men or women, to reach the second round of the World Cup where they lost 2-0 to the Netherlands.
Given the recent achievements, they are aiming to reach next year’s Olympic Games in Paris by starting strongly in the qualifiers against DR Congo.
Landed!@SasolSA sponsored @Banyana_Banyana arrived safely in the DR Congo ahead of their first leg Olympic Qualifier – great to see the smiles and positive mood in the camp as usual.#LiveTheImpossible pic.twitter.com/coyGauBYIY
— Official SasolLeague (@SasolLeague) October 23, 2023
“I think we have to be ready” – Biyana says as Banyana Banyana take on DR Congo
Biyana believes they cannot alter the weather conditions in Kinshsha, so they just have to be ready to play on Wednesday.
“I think we have to be ready. It is what it is, there is nothing we can do about it. I think the most important thing for us is to try and get enough rest (today), do as much recovery as we can and be ready to go.
On her side playing on an artificial Turf, Biyana had this to say; “It might be an advantage given the fact that sometimes in South Africa in the league we don't have good playing fields, but playing on Turf might be good.
“Except the fact that it might be hot and we have to adapt to the weather. Some of us train in the heat, so I think we will be fine”
The South Africans made their debut in 2012 at the multi-sports tournament. They qualified again in 2016 but missed out on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and are keen to reach next year’s own in Paris.
“The game on its own is a big motivation. Especially given the fact that we did not qualify for the last one. It was very sad for us. And most people that were there, are still here now,” said Kholosa Biyana.
“It’s a box we need to tick. We have been to the Afcon. We have been to the World Cup. And we did so well. So, it’s important to continue with that form,” added Biyana.
Banyana Banyana's coach Desiree Ellis also spoke about the state of the pitch.
“We will have to attack very quickly. We have players who have been in this situation before,” said Ellis on the conditions that await them.
“In 2021, we played the Aisha Buhari Cup on [on artificial] turf. So, it will be a little bit of adjustment. But not too big. We’ll have to adapt very quickly. The away leg is really important for us to get a positive result,” added Banyana’s 60-year-old coach.
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago