go for it banyana

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

Banyana Banyana are set to make history but Safa refuses to pay a cent as an incentive.

Raymond Hack, Safa chief executive, has urged the women's national team to display ruthlessness when they clash with Equatorial Guinea in the finals of the African Women's Championship tomorrow.

Hack said the association did not expect the girls to go that far, though they had been fully behind them.

"They put forth an unbelievable performance and I can only wish them the best," he said.

Hack demurred on the subject of incentives for the team, saying: "We do not talk about incentives - representing the country is the main thing - but people shouldn't play for money."

Back in Malabo, Banyana are on the brink of capturing the most prized continental tournament for women's football in Africa, and they know it.

Coach Augustine Makalakalane, supported by manager Fran Hilton-Smith, has weathered the storm in building his team to be what it is right now, with many tribulations along the way.

So now he has a capable group of girls who have shown they fear no one, despite being previously widely derided for not having the stomach and the size required to survive and conquer the continent.

The team blends the experience and worldliness of US-based players Veronica Phewa and Lena Mosebo, the dependability of midfielder Kylie-Ann Louw, and the youthful exuberance of Busisiwe Ndimeni.

Throw into the mix mercurial striker Noko Matlou, and you have a side that has blind-sided and terrorised defences in Malabo.

The Limpopo-based lass has had her own mini-party on the side, bagging five goals en route to this crunch match.

The most dangerous player in the opposition camp is free-kick specialist Anonma Genoveva, whose scoring tally of five goals is equal to that of Matlou.