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Bantwana wary of Ethiopia in U17 Women’s World Cup qualifier

SA U17 national women’s team (Bantwana) players during a training session to prepare for the clash against Ethiopia.
SA U17 national women’s team (Bantwana) players during a training session to prepare for the clash against Ethiopia.
Image: SAFA

SAU17 national women’s team coach Simphiwe Dludlu has declared her charges fully prepared for their Fifa U17 Women’s World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia at Wits Stadium on Friday.

Though they have had good preparation for this crucial first leg of the third round qualifier, Dludlu has warned her Bantwana charges that the East Africans are not going to be easy to beat.

SA progressed to this stage of the qualifiers without kicking a ball after Kenya was suspended from football activities by Fifa in March 2022, and this paved the way for the encounter against Ethiopia, who eliminated Uganda in the previous stage.

Dludlu believes the East Africans have the advantage coming into this match as they have already played two matches ahead of Friday’s game.

“Ethiopia comes into this match more prepared and with more experience than us at this level of international football,” said Dludlu.

“Their group of U17 has already being exposed to playing Fifa World Cup qualifiers, dealing with the pressure that comes with these matches. We will be playing our first international match with a group of players who have never put on the national strip, sang the national anthem nor played in a live broadcast match.

“We have however, studied their style of play. We worked on our strengths and weaknesses and have identified areas where we can hurt them,” said Dludlu.

“We will, however, be going out guns blazing to display our brand of football and represent the country with distinction. This match will set the platform for us going into the second leg and we are looking forward to the challenge.”


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