With six points in the bag and massive goal surplus, Banyana Banyana are assured of a place in the semi-finals of the Africa Women’s Nations Cup in Accra, Ghana.
The top three teams of the competition are assured qualification for the Women’s World Cup holding in France.
Having nothing significant at stake, South Africa may opt to play soft or even reserve strength and players for a more challenging and significant semi final duel as they play their last group match with Zambia this Saturday.
Should Zambia win and Nigeria fail to beat Equatorial Guinea in Cape Coast, the Super Falcons’ World Cup dreams will go into smoke. They are therefore condemned to win the last group match to sustain their perennial participation in the World Cup.
But will Equatorial Guinea who are technically out of contention be the spoiler? Their coach, Jean-Paul Mpila ahead of the encounter was reported by Cafonline to have said:
“I can boldly say we out of the tournament but concerning the fixture against Nigeria, we are going to honour it. As I always say we never give until the last blast of the whistle so we are preparing for the match.
“My objective for this team is to secure the future. You have seen how the team performed in this tournament compared to the previous, they are different.
“At first we were one of the forces in Africa but that’s not the case at the moment so my main aim for this team is to bring back the glory days.
“Competition remains competition. I have much respect for Nigeria because they are a great football nation. No coach will go into a match expecting defeat so I accept to go onto the field and just give in for Nigeria to win the game. If they win, it is a plus for them.”
So far in two matches, the two-time African champions have conceded 12 goals and scoring just one. But striker, Genoveva Anonman Nze told Cafonline that the team will fight to the end.
“We came for a competition and we are going to fight till the end. We are all aware that playing in the Women’s AFCON doesn’t come easy so we careless about the results of our opponents and that of us. We are here to play until the end.
“I must establish that years are not the same. Every year has its characteristics. Since 2008 I worked hard with the team and I keep working hard.
“It is quite unfortunate this year I don’t understand what went wrong. I would admit that this is a young team and they have a future. I hope that they keep learning to get to the apex.
“I don’t believe we are intimidated by the names Nigeria are possessing because we also came here to play the tournament but we respect them since they are one of the best teams.