Balancing act for Basetsana

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Basetsana will need to maintain an attacking mentality and strength to create scoring opportunities, while staying composed at the back if they intend to beat the Democratic Republic of Congo in Kinshasa tomorrow.

The South Africans, who jet to the DRC capital today at 8.45am and are expected in Kinshasa just before noon, engage the Congolese in a make or break final leg of the World Cup qualifiers at Stade de Matyrs.

Kickoff is at 3.30pm.

Basetsana, coached by the astute Anna Monate, should also not allow bitter memories of 2006 to haunt them.

In that year Basetsana, who were coached by Sheryl Botes, won the first leg in Pretoria 2-1 but were pipped 1-0 in the final leg in Kinshasa and went out on the away goals rule.

This time they take a 3-1 advantage there but the tie is far from won.

They will need to take control of the game and attack tempestuously throughout the match if they hope to become the first ever girls' junior national squad to qualify for the World Cup finals.

Though they failed to carve out many scoring chances in the first leg in Pretoria, DRC will not need extra motivation at home.

Their 12th player - their intimidating supporters - are expected to fill the 80000-seater multipurpose national stadium to the rafters to give their players an additional boost.

Basetsana, who go to Kinshasa with extra motivation after Safa promised them "surprise" incentives if they win, should also guard against complacency.

Kylie-Ann Louw and Mamello Makhabane will have to be at their best to deal with the inventiveness of businesslike Odile Kuyangisa. But coach Monate is spoilt for talent in this department because workaholic Memory Makhanya is also fit to play.

Makhanya is not only creative in the middle of the park, but also has the ability to create goals from the flanks, especially on the right where DRC left-back Kuba Lumba lacks stability and anticipation.

Pohy Bonganya, the DRC's coach, could be tempted to start with Ivonne Malembo and Arlette Mafuta up front but it remains to be seen if they will be able to breach Basetsana's rearguard.