Win over Nigeria would spare U-17s drama

NATIONAL Under-17 women's coach Solly Luvhengo would rather gain straight qualification to the Under-17 Women's World Cup by beating Nigeria than take his chances with Ghana or Tunisia.

NATIONAL Under-17 women's coach Solly Luvhengo would rather gain straight qualification to the Under-17 Women's World Cup by beating Nigeria than take his chances with Ghana or Tunisia.

Luvhengo's team take on the West Africans in the first leg of the second round of this qualifier in Nigeria tomorrow, while Tunisia and Ghana clash in the other African group. It seems Nigeria always stand in South Africa's way when it comes to qualification for prestigious global competitions.

The second Fifa Under-17 Women's World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago is no different.

The two teams that prevail will gain automatic qualification to the world stage in September, while the losers will meet for the third spot on a date yet to be confirmed.

Luvhengo, meanwhile, is not deterred by our woeful showing against Nigerian teams of all age groups and both genders, promising to do his best to reverse this.

"Nigeria have some of the biggest girls around. Big and quite powerful. We just have to believe we have the goods. We have to display the right attitude and can even get a goal or two," Luvhengo said.

Joining players like the free-scoring Tshegofatso Makinta in this team is the US-based Caitlin Fryer.

For the first time, South Africa have the luxury of playing the away leg first.

"We can make things much easier for ourselves by avoiding an avalanche of goals. I have stressed to the girls that we have no reason to be afraid of anyone, even though we know realistically that Nigeria are an African powerhouse," he said.

The squad: Nkosingiphile Zungu, Kaylin Swart, Kelso Peskin, Rachel Sebati, Aviwe Kalolo, Bianca Joodt, Fryer, Christelene Jantjies, Khosi Mnyakeni, Monica Schalkwyk, Robyn Moodaly, Maphuthi Manamela, Lindiwe Mkhize, Vuyo Mkhabelo, Makinta, Jabulile Mazibuko, Alice Khosa and Meagan Newman.

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