2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Preview: South Africa
Source: safa.net

2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Preview: South Africa

A first time appearance for South Africa will not daunt them. They have bigger goals in mind.

dzukai07
Kudzi Musarurwa

Being newcomers to the World Cup stage does not seem to bother South Africa. Their aim is to make a mark at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup and they are primed to do so. Their journey will not be easy as they have been placed in Group B with GermanySpain and China PR but if they can hold steady against these teams, South Africa could be unlikely qualifiers of the Round of 16.

A strong defense has helped South Africa reach the World Cup

Janine van Wyk has waited a long time to led her country at the World Cup | Source: SAFA
Janine van Wyk has waited a long time to led her country at the World Cup | Source: safa.net

South Africa could be seen by many as the weakest team in Group B but their strength is at the back and they can back themselves against some of the strongest teams in the world. They may have been demolished by Norway recently but against the United States of America, despite the eventual three-nil loss, South Africa showed that they are capable of frustrating a team.

Led by captain Janine van Wyk, South Africa have shown that they have the mental fortitude and ability to keep teams from creating too many chances against them. The only issue that plagues their backline is consistency as they can be a great defense in one game and a porous one in the next.  In order to qualify for the knock out stages like they hope to do, South Africa must be more consistent and produce solid performances throughout their first three games at the World Cup.

A faltering attack could hinder South Africa

Thembi Kgatlana has made an impact for South Africa | Source: sportsclub.co.za
Thembi Kgatlana has made an impact for South Africa | Source: sportsclub.co.za

While their backline has shown signs of progress, South Africa's attack is a worry for anyone supporting them. Goals have not been easy to come by for them and when they start their World Cup campaign, that has to be resolved if they want to do more than make a group stage appearance.

Thembi Kgatlana is the obvious goal threat that the South Africans have. Although she has not made many appearances for South Africa, her goals have helped them qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics and now the World Cup. Kgatlana possess a lot of pace and has added clinical finishing to her game. If she can get the ball in the final third regularly, she will find the back of the net for South Africa.

Roster

Goalkeepers: Mapaseka Mpuru, Andile Dlamini, Kaylin Swart.

Defenders: Lebogang Ramalepe, Nothando Vilakazi, Noko Matlou, Janine van Wyk, Karabo Dhlamini, Bambanani Mbane, Tiisetso Makhubela, Bongeka Gamede.

Midfielders: Mamello Makhabane, Linda Motlhalo, Refiloe Jane, Leandra Smeda, Kholosa Biyana, Busisiwe Ndimeni, Sibulele Holweni.

Forwards: Ode Fulutudilu, Amanda Mthandi, Thembi Kgatlana, Jermaine Seoposenwe, Rhoda Mulaudzi.

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