Banyana buoyed for the AAG next month

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Banyana Banyana's qualification for the group stages of the Beijing 2008 Olympics has renewed their buoyancy going into the All Africa Games (AAG) in Algiers, Algeria, next month.

This is according to Fran Hilton-Smith, pictured, Banyana Banyana's team manger, after their 3-2 triumph over an obdurate Zimbabwean side in Harare on Saturday.

The South Africans won the overall qualifier against Zimbabwe 5-3 on aggregate after winning the first leg 2-1 in Pretoria on June 3.

Veronica Phewa, Hlengiwe Ngwane and Belinda Nkosi struck for the South Africans to silence the hosts' supporters.

But it is to be seen if their win over Zimbabwe will be enough to motivate them in the AAG's opener against Nigeria on July 9.

"We are all motivated and are looking forward to overcoming the hurdles in Algeria," said Hilton-Smith from Zimbabwe yesterday.

"The players showed a great deal of maturity by winning away considering that we only managed to beat Zimbabwe 2-1 at home. Really, I don't think we will fare badly in Algeria."

Right-back Rose Jajane will not be part of the Banyana Banyana squad to the AAG because of an injury that kept her at home when her teammates battled it out in Zimbabwe. She is out for nine months after she sustained the injury in the first leg against Zimbabwe in Pretoria.

The injury came at the time when she was due to attend trials in Sweden this week.

"As much as we would have loved to have Rose in Algeria, we need to have confidence in the players we are taking to the games."