Title is in reach, says Banyana coach

TERRIFIC FORM: Andisiwe Mgcoyi scored a hat-trick against Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo: Gallo Images
TERRIFIC FORM: Andisiwe Mgcoyi scored a hat-trick against Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo: Gallo Images

BANYANA Banyana coach Joseph Mkhonza is happy that the team is regaining its goal-scoring touch.

After demolishing Democratic Republic of Congo 4-1 on Saturday in the African Women's Championship, Mkhonza believes Banyana can win the title for the first time.

South Africa qualified for the semifinals with this win in their final Group A match played in Bata, Equatorial Guinea. Mamelodi Sundowns striker Andisiwe Mgcoyi scored a hat-trick and Leandra Smeda of Cape Town Roses got the other South African goal.

"This is a great performance," said Mkhonza. "Goals have been eluding us but the technical staff have been working on that problem, spending more time with the strikers at training.

"Andisiwe Mgcoyi has been in terrific form scoring goals left, right and centre, she scored three brilliant goals on Saturday.

"We are no longer relying on Noko Matlou, Portia Modise, Leandra Smeda and Amanda Dlamini to score goals for us.

"We also have a new striker in Silindile Ngubane who also has an eye for goals. I was happy with the overall performance - the team is improving tremendously every game.

"There is hope that we will do well now that the appetite for goals is back.

"We will play against either Nigeria or Cameroon in the semifinals on Wednesday," he said.

"The good thing is that we have seen both sides and will be ready for them. But there's no time to celebrate the win over Democratic Republic of Congo, the preparations for the semifinals are already under way."

Banyana have reached the final of this tournament twice: in 2006 and 2008 when they lost 2-0 to Nigeria and 2-1 to Equatorial Guinea respectively.

South African Football Association executive member Nomsa Mahlangu called the Saturday's demolition of the Congolese "incredible".

"We are encouraged by the performance of the team," she said.

"We are confident that they will reach the final and win the tournament if they continue working hard as a team."

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