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Banyana Starting XI For Nigeria Announce

Banyana Banyana have announced their starting XI to face Nigeria in the first leg of their final Olympic Games qualifiers in Abuja tonight.

Desiree Ellis side are 180 minutes away from laying an eight-year-old Olympic Games ghost appearance to rest but have to eliminate nemesis Nigeria, who also endured a 16-year hiatus from the event.

The top-two ranked sides in Africa meet in the first leg of the final round of qualifiers at the MKO Abiola stadium in Abuja this evening at 18:00 SA time, with the second leg in Pretoria next Tuesday.

Ellis has been able to welcome back some of Banyana’s key players, who missed the majority of the qualifying campaign owing to injuries, for this all important clash.

Captain Refiloe Jane, Sibulele Holweni, defenders Bambanani Mbane and Bongeka Gamede are some of the returnees in the Banyana squad.

Our ladies saw off Tanzania with a 4-0 aggregate score in the third round, while the Super Falcons won 1-0 on aggregate against Cameroon in that round.

This clash will be the fifth Olympic qualifier between the African champions and the Falcons, which has been dominated by the latter with three wins and the other result being a draw.

However, Banyana have won three of the last four matches outside of the Olympic qualifiers over Nigeria recently, with the most famous one coming at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco, a tournament Banyana went on to win.

Both sides know there cannot be room for error in the two-legged fixture as there are only two spots available for African women’s teams at the multi coded event.

The winner of this fixture will compete in Group C at the event against world champions Spain, Japan and Brazil.

Here is how Banyana are lining up tonight:

Banyana XI: Swart, Makhubela, Matlou, Gamede, Dhlamini, Jane, Motlhalo, Ramalepe, Magaia, Seoposenwe, Kgatlana.

Subs: Ngobeni, Moletsane, Magama, Cesane, Salgado, Mbane, Kgoale, Holweni, Mhlongo, Mthandi, Motau

Lethabo Kganyago
Lethabo Kganyago
Lethabo Kganyago is currently working as a web and newspaper writer for iDiski Times. This award-winning sports journalist covers the Limpopo area and also specialises in coverage of women's football, including Banayana Banyana.