Bantwana mentor Simphiwe Dludlu says her side will face the best and most experienced Ethiopian side in the first leg of the third round of the Fifa Under-17 Women’s World Cup qualifiers.
The South African Under-17 National Team will host the East Africans on Friday, 15 April, at Wits Stadium at 15:00.
Coach Dludlu reckons that Ethiopia will be a “hard nut to crack” when the two teams meet. However, she remains confident that her troops will give their best on the day.
Ethiopia come into this encounter more rejuvenated as they have already played two matches ahead of Friday’s game.
“Ethiopia come into this match more prepared and with more experience than us at this level of international football. Their group of U17 has already been exposed to playing Fifa World Cup qualifiers, dealing with the pressure that comes with these matches,” said Dludlu.
“We, on the other hand, will be playing our first international match with a group of players that have never put on the national strip, sang the national anthem or played in a live broadcast match.
“We have, however, studied their style of play, worked on our strengths and weaknesses and have identified areas where we can hurt them.
‘’We will be going out guns blazing to display our brand of football and represent the country with distinction. This match will set the platform for us going into the second leg, and we are looking forward to the challenge.”
Bantwana has been in camp for the past week with a group of 25 players who were cut down to 20 on Wednesday, in line with the rules of an official qualifying match.