A defeat in their opening litmus test against the Super Falcons on Monday will not be greeted as a disaster by Banyana as they face tournament rookies Burundi (Thursday) and Botswana (Sunday) in their next two games.
SA coach Desiree Ellis, though, has warned against complacency against the supposed minnows.
“This is the 14th edition of the tournament and we are also making our 13th appearance, and this speaks volumes about Banyana,” Ellis said.
“In 2018 we finished second and our aim remains doing the best we possibly can to improve on that result.
“Banyana have played neighbours Botswana numerous times so we are well aware of their capabilities — our loss to them in the 2020 Olympic qualifiers where we failed to score over two legs and lost on a penalty shoot-out is well documented.
“We also know the quality of Burundi who clinched second place in the 2022 Cecafa Senior Women’s Championship earlier this month in Njeru, Uganda.
“Our group looks easy on paper but football is not played on paper, which simply means we have to work hard to achieve our goal.”
The top two teams and two best runners up-from the three groups reach the quarterfinals.
Hosts Morocco opened the tournament with a 1-0 win against Burkina Faso on Saturday night.