AMSTERDAM - BANYANA Banyana players arrived yesterday at their last training session before the last match of the Four Nations Cup trying hard to be upbeat despite losing their opening two matches of the tournament.
The South Africans play their last match against fellow underachievers Switzerland at 4.30pm today at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam.
In a team that first lost 5-0 to China and then 3-2 to the Netherlands, the positives have been few. One good thing to emerge has been the return to the first team of central defender Janine van Wyk.
Van Wyk has been sidelined by injuries for the past four months, playing her last national team match back in February in Cyprus.
But this week, while her fellow defenders' silly mistakes led to Banyana being punished, the stocky central defender prevented even worse defeat. Defenders had to carry the can for the manner in which Holland eventually won, when experienced players lost the ball in dangerous places.
"I deserve to be in this team," said Van Wyk yesterday. "I have trained hard to come back, and I knew that if I do not go back and work hard, I would lose my place in the team.
"We now have to win this match - we did not come here for nothing, we have to go back home with something," she said.
"Against Netherlands, we really performed - we gave it our all and the sad thing is that they beat us through our own mistakes.
"In the first game against China, the big thing was not to concede so many goals, and we did try, but they are one of the best (teams) in the world."
Banyana have conceded eight goals in two matches and scored just two. China engage the Netherlands at 7.30pm in another match today.