Banyana still determined to reach the round of 16 at FIFA World Cup

Banyana Banyana are still determined to fight to the bitter end to reach the second round despite their heartbreaking loss to highly ranked Sweden in their 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup opener on Sunday.

The South Africans who are now third in Group G, need to win their next match against Argentina to revive their chances of advancing to the round of 16.

But Argentina are also desperate for a win after losing their opening match against Italy.

Banyana know what they need to do in their two remaining group matches, if they are to reach the next round of the Women’s World Cup.

First they have to beat Argentina, before they start thinking about Italy. Ranked 29th in the world, the South Americans are 25 places above Banyana Banyana in the rankings. After losing their opening matches, this is a must win match for both teams. The heartbreaking loss to Sweden is now water under the bridge for Banyana.

“We are ready to face Argentina. It’s a very important game for us. It’s very important that we come with the same energy, like with the same goal which is to try and get maximum points,” says Kholosa Biyana, Banyana Banyana midfielder.

Unlike Sweden who relied more on their physicality, Argentina will pose a different threat to Banyana Banyana. Despite the narrow defeat against Sweden, there are some positives to be taken from that match. Banyana’s mission now is to do well in their next two matches to reach the last 16.

“We take each game as it comes, we are also very physical, we are here to compete. We are here to make a difference, we are here to win and getting out of the group stages is one of our goals,” says Gabriela Salgado, Banyana Banyana forward.

Banyana Banyana are currently third in Group G, having scored a goal in their previous match.  South Africa’s last group match is against Italy next Wednesday.

Video: Banyana aim for maximum points against Argentina on Friday:

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