No more slip-ups, Banyana vow

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

Banyana Banyana team manager Fran Hilton-Smith has promised that there will be no slip-ups from her team when they meet Equatorial Guinea in two weeks' time.

Banyana went down 2-1 to the West Africans in Malabo in the first leg of an Olympic qualifier on Sunday. The two sides face each other in the return leg on March 11.

"This is do or die for us, and we already are planning on how we approach the second leg on March 11, based on what happened in Malabo," Hilton-Smith said.

"I can tell you, though, that we had lots of great scoring opportunities that we did not take. So, spending time on target shooting is at the top of the coach [Augustine Makalakalane's] priorities."

The team flies home today, and though they were said to be heartbroken over the loss, Hilton-Smith insisted the positives outnumbered the negatives.

"Guinea were awarded a penalty in the second minute of the game, and scored the second goal at the beginning of the second half, leading us by 2-0 for a long period.

"The second goal was from our own defensive blunder and we got punished. However, the girls kept their heads and fought back to give us our saving grace, through a Veronica Phewa goal in the second half," Hilton-Smith said.

Banyana will have to knuckle down, since this was just the first hurdle on the road to China next year.