Banyana Arrive in Abuja Preparing for Hostile Battle Against Super Falcons in Olympic Qualifier

Banyana Arrive in Abuja Preparing for Hostile Battle Against Super Falcons in Olympic Qualifier

Byron Pillay
updated at April 2, 2024 at 9:00 AM
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  • South Africa will face Nigeria in an Olympic Games qualifier on Friday, April 5
  • Banyana Banyana keeper Kaylin Swart expects a hostile environment in Abuja
  • The winner of the two-legged tie will represent Africa at the Olympics in Paris

The anticipation is building for the Olympic qualifying clash between Banyana Banyana and Nigeria.

The Super Falcons will host the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations winner on April 5 in the first leg of the final qualifiers.

Kaylin Swart admitted that there is an advantage to South Africa playing away from home first against Nigeria.
Banyana Banyana keeper Kaylin Swart expects a tough and hostile encounter when South Africa take on Nigeria. Image: Katelyn Mulcahy.
Source: Getty Images

Four days later, they will play them again in South Africa, with the winner of the two-legged tie earning the right to represent Africa at the Olympics in Paris.

Banyana arrive in Abuja early

While their fixture is only later this week, Desiree Ellis’ side already arrived in the country on Easter Sunday.

Speaking about the decision, Ellis said it was made to help the team acclimatise to the conditions in Abuja.

The team have already undergone their first training session in Nigeria after undergoing a week of preparations back home, SAFA confirmed.

Banyana keeper expects hostile environment

While the South Africans are preparing physically for the encounter, Banyana keeper, Kaylin Swart touched on the mental aspects ahead of the big clash.

The 29-year-old expects a hostile atmosphere from rival fans, but admitted that it could be an advantage as well, Punch Nigeria reported.

“The chants from the away fans are not the best, but I think we can use that as a fuel to conquer. Yes, it’s going to be tough… Nigeria have a big following; they pack stadiums when they play at home, but we are up for the challenge and the hostility we’re going to face,” she said.

Swart added that it was also an advantage playing away from home first, as they could hopefully grab some away goals which would take the pressure off for the return leg at home.

Ellis fires warning to Nigeria

Banyana’s coach Ellis has fired a warning to Nigeria ahead of the Olympic qualifier, Sports Brief reported.

Speaking ahead of the upcoming two-legged tie, the South African manager described it as a 'do-or-die'.

The two sides, will meet on Friday, April 5 in Abuja and then four days later for the second leg in South Africa.

Byron Pillay photo
Byron Pillay
Byron Pillay is a sports writer and Head of the Department at Sports Brief (joined in 2022) with over 10 years of experience in community journalism and a degree in journalism from Caxton's Cadet School.
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