Banyana need solid defence against the Black Queens, says skipper Van Wyk

South African captain Janine Van Wyk with her Banyana coach Desiree Ellis. FILE PHOTO
South African captain Janine Van Wyk with her Banyana coach Desiree Ellis. FILE PHOTO
Image: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images

Though Banyana Banyana are high on confidence ahead of their Aisha Buhari Cup match against Ghana in Lagos, Nigeria on Friday night, skipper Janine van Wyk anticipates a tough clash against the unpredictable Black Queens.

The 34-year-old defender said SA have to be intact defensively to stop Ghana’s potent attack.

Coach Desiree Ellis’ side will use the games to prepare for the upcoming Cosafa Cup and their Africa Women’s Cup of Nations qualifiers in Gqeberha.

Banyana play matches against Ghana on Friday and Nigeria on Tuesday in the friendly Aisha Buhari Cup tournament before returning home to begin preparations for the Cosafa Cup, which runs from November 3 to 14.

“We are ready and prepared for Ghana,” Van Wyk said.

“We know we haven't been in camp a very long time and we are looking forward to the upcoming two games.

“Our focus is obviously on Ghana in is our first game. They are a very strong opponents.”

Van Wyk said morale is high in the SA camp.

“We also have very good depth in our team with lots of experience, with a mixture of young talent coming through,” she said.

“It's such an exciting time to start the tournament and hopefully we can get a good result.

“It's very hot here in Nigeria so we have to adapt as much as we can. The team morale is very high and everyone is excited for the game tonight.”

The women’s national team is in Lagos participating in the Aisha Buhari Cup that started on Wednesday and will conclude on Tuesday.

Defending champions SA have won the Cosafa Cup a record six times and are gunning for their fourth title in a row in the regional tournament.